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Cowles Bog Trail

MODERATE 133 reviews

Cowles Bog Trail is a 4.3 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.

Distance: 4.3 miles Elevation Gain: 213 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

bird watching

beach

forest

lake

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

over grown

snow

washed out

no dogs

hiking
5 days ago

Great trail with a beautiful view of the beach at the end. Very buggy, definitely recommend bug spray. If you’re taking your pet, watch the temperature of the sand- can get very very hot for their paws.

hiking
9 days ago

Great loop for a quick run or hike. Not too many climbs, but a ton of bugs!

hiking
off trail
13 days ago

Sweet diversity of trail, from a foresty start, over a well kept bridge, through denser woods and then up into the sandy dunes. A few good climbs up, lots of good shade along the trail. Important to note that from the parking lot of trail make sure to cross the street to connect to trail. There is another trail in the gravel lot that will simply take you to a road (not the beach). Hiked on Saturday of 4th of July weekend, so lot was full to park, but cleared out around 530pm or so. Will definately do again, the reward of the beach and sound of the waves is awesome!

hiking
bugs
14 days ago

good trail, could be marked better and the parking is pretty limited. getting over those dunes is quite the feat.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike to the beach through the bog. Definitely need bug spray and water.

hiking
bugs
15 days ago

nice shady trail to the beach but very buggy

hiking
bugs
20 days ago

Great hike. Lots of birds. Go in the morning and you could have a beach area on Lake Michigan all to yourself.

hiking
bugs
28 days ago

This was a great hike. The incline on the dunes near the beach was challenging, but it was a beautiful trail along the bogs. When we went the flies on the beach were horrible, so bring something to cover up if you don't want to get bitten. Other than that part, we enjoyed the trail.

1 month ago

This is my go-to trail when I am in the area. Dogs ARE allowed but must be leashed.I brought my dog today and met at least five others. I walk on the beach to add mileage. Lots of varied flowers. Saw a big brown snake. Dog and I brought ticks home. Lots of skeeters. Still my favorite trail due to the diversity and challenge. No fee to hike.

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Great trail. Was a easy hike with a few harder climbs up the dunes from the beach. Went on Memorial day and had lighter than expected traffic on the trail. Had a great time with my large dog on the trail.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of the most diverse trails I’ve ever been on. The trail starts out easy enough with beautiful trees and shrubs abound on a nice flat trail. Once you get to the bog the trail becomes boardwalk and the mosquitos are rampant. After passing the bog you come up to some gentle rolling hills that takes you to a clearing with prairie land that leads you to Lake Michigan. What a great reward to see when you’re midway through your hike! When you’re ready to finish the trail, the hike up to the top of the dune is no joke. There is a much more gentler outlaw trail to make the hike up the dune a bit easier but I’d recommend taking the harder route if you can because it’s very rewarding once you get back to the top. Also the habitat of the dunes is very fragile so staying on the trails is so critical for the beauty that’s offered here. The diversity of plant life here is incredible as is the scenery. Absolutely a one of a kind trail.

2 months ago

great hike. lots of sandhill cranes and other birds.

hiking
3 months ago

4.5. The dunes portion was challenging.

5 months ago

nice trail. going down to and back up from beach area are a couple nice challenging hills.

hiking
7 months ago

Pretty decent trail with a good amount of elevation however the factories nearby emit lots of fumes/smells. I developed a sinus headache and hurried to complete the walk.

hiking
10 months ago

I loved this hike! Beautiful, interesting woods along a swamp with lots of wildflowers and hills A few steep, sandy dune climbs, but altogether not too bad. Wonderful stop at the Lake Michigan beach about half way through the hike.

11 months ago

Bring bug spray! What a cool hike. Several different ecosystems, a pretty tough sandy incline, lots of wildlife, and plenty of isolated beach. My first hike in Indiana and I can’t wait to go back!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

This is a nice trail out to the beach through woods and the bog. Insect repellant is prob a must...I mean it is a bog after all. I didn't have a problem with bugs with repellant on. The first mile or so is shaded with packed sand, providing a stable walking surface, and also a raised boardwalk through the bog. As you make your way toward the beach, the hills get steeper and the sand gets increasingly loose, making it a challenging hike. The views are well worth the dune hike, and I'd prefer to hike here to this beach over going to the crowded beach anyday. Great trail.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

This is one of my favorite trails in the area! If you go in the summer time, you can eat some of the blackberries!

hiking
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Perfect trail end with an excellent view of Lake Michigan. Bring your lunch, there is a nice shaded spot!

hiking
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Short trek to reach the beach. Nice mix of woods and the sandy dunes.

hiking
Sunday, May 06, 2018

Ticks are out and about. Be careful. Ended up with one yesterday. Nice trail and close to Chicago.

hiking
Friday, April 20, 2018

Nice trail and scenery. If you’re afraid of snakes though avoid it because there is seriously a billion there including water moccasins.

hiking
Sunday, April 01, 2018

Very nice. Very pretty. Dunes were a little rough because I haven’t hiked in a while. You will get all the sand in your shoes.

hiking
Saturday, November 18, 2017

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...

hiking
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

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

Friday, September 29, 2017

Nice ❤️

hiking
Thursday, September 14, 2017

Monday, September 04, 2017

nice trail but lots of traffic

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