Cowles Bog Trail

MODERATE 87 reviews

Cowles Bog Trail is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.4 miles
223 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


cross country skiing


nature trips


trail running





wild flowers





over grown


washed out

1 month ago

Great trail. Paths clearly marked and great scenery. I would avoid climbing the dunes if you have physical restrictions, but fabulous view from the tops looking down on the lake...

2 months ago

This trail is awesome and gives you an awesome view of the lake from the top of a dune

3 months ago

Nice ❤️

4 months ago

4 months ago

nice trail but lots of traffic

6 months ago

Turn off Hwy 12 when you see the Dune Acres sign. The parking lot is on your left immediately after crossing the train tracks. There's another smaller lot if you continue driving to the gate to your right. Very tight lot with one way driving.
This trail will take you past ponds & bogs to Lake Michigan. It would be more scenic, except for the Steel Mill within sight & sound of it! It does give you a small taste of what NW Indiana was like many years ago.
The trail is strenuous when you get to the lake. Otherwise, easy to moderate.

6 months ago

Heavily trafficked trail mainly due to beachgoers. Doing the large loop can be a challenge due to roots, sand and a copious amount of bugs. Very steep climb leaving the beach area so be prepared for that if you're not in shape. I often see quite a few people that were not quite prepared for the challenge.

6 months ago

Love that you end up on the beach! Awesome trail bring lunch and eat it in the top of the hill with great views!

7 months ago

Nice trail that ends at a fairly secluded beach

7 months ago

I run this trail a few times a month. I recommend late winter through late spring and after labor day for the least congestion and to avoid the biting flies. The orchids in the bog bloom between the end of February and the second week of March.

8 months ago

Very fun trails and a beautiful view of Lake Michigan!

9 months ago

Beautiful view just a little hard to get there

9 months ago

Didn't go down to the beach as all signs said it closed. Enjoyable hike thru the marsh- felt more like New England at times. Saw a pheasant, no other wildlife. Easy hike.

9 months ago

Enjoy running these trails. Can do many loops to add mileage. Be ready to climb some dunes.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Nice trail, not to hard with the exception of the dune by the beach. I used this as a warm-up for some of the other trails in the park. If the weather is nice you can jump in the lake for a swim and cool off before heading back.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

This is a great trail to do if you're looking for a little exercise as there are some good, steep hills as you near the beach. Mosquitos weren't terrible, but I'd still recommend bug repellent. Oh, and prepare to get a lot of sand in your shoes!

trail running
Saturday, August 06, 2016

This is a great trail. You can make it different distances with a couple cut through trails. Going all the way to the beach is fun - big hill just before the beach.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Excellent variety between bog, hardwood forest and dune environments. Throw in Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline as a bonus.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Nice view from top of dune. Great variety of foliage. Pretty beach.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Great hike! loved the break in-between, exploring the beach before heading back into the woods :)

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