Hiking in Northwest Indiana

These past several months have been challenging. Many of us have taken refuge out of doors, or found hope and inspiration in the splendor of nature by admiring spring flowers and wildlife from our windows (or computers).  

Our natural world unceasingly supports and inspires us when we need it most. Will you now help us support our natural world?

Barker Woods
Description:
Easy
Distance:
1 mi. Time: 29 min.
Location:
444 Barker Road, Michigan City
     This Trail is right inside Michigan City, however once you get to the end you will realize the unique natural setting totally over 30 acres with very photographic scenes. The woods are an old-growth forest, dedicated as a nature preserve since 1975.The trail begins at the Save the Dunes offices with a parking lot and there is a kiosk at the trailhead to sign in.

Moraine Nature Preserve
Description:
Easy
Distance:
2.5 mi Time: 1hr. 41 min.
Location
: East Co. Rd. 750 N. Valparaiso
     Moraine Nature Preserve is a 2.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Valparaiso, Indiana that features a great forest setting. The trail is good for all skill levels and is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching. There are several tree roots to cross over. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Can be muddy in the Spring and Fall after heavy rains. Fine in the Summer and Winter.  Read Our Full Article HERE!

Little Calumet River and Mnoke Prairie Trail
Description: Moderate
Distance: 3.9 miles, Time: 1hour 41 min.
Location: Bailly / Chellberg Parking Lot, 618 Mineral Springs Rd. Indiana Dunes National Park , Chesterton
     Little Calumet River and Mnoke Prairie Trail is a 3.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The Calumet River Trail follows the Little Calumet River and then turns toward prairie and woodland.  Can be muddy after a rainfall.

Heron Rookery Trail:
Description:
Easy
Distance:
3.2mi. Time: 1hr. 18 min.
Location:
Indiana Dunes National Park,  1336 N. Co Rd. 600 E. Michigan City
     Heron Rookery Trail is a 3.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Michigan City, Indiana that features a river and is good for all skill levels. 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. Beautiful flowers in the Spring. There is a parking lot at each end of the trail. Can be muddy after a rainfall.

Glenwood Dunes Trail
Description: Moderate
Distance:
6.7mi Time: 2hr. 49 min.
Location:
U.S. 20 and School House Rd. Indiana Dunes National Park
    Glenwood Dunes Trail is a 10.8 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, snowshoes and horses and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail. This trail begins at Furnessville off of Highway 20 and  Brummitt Road and goes north of Highway 20.
    Bring a trail map as the route has too many trail junctions and cut-offs to fully describe here. From the trailhead, hike in a counterclockwise direction and take care when crossing roads. At the east end of the loop, take the short cut-off to avoid the Calumet Dunes Paved Trail (Note that it is a short hike to the Calumet Dunes parking lot if restroom or potable water is desired). After the cut-off, follow the trail west along U.S. Highway 12 before heading south the western-most point of the trail. Do not take the Glenwood dunes Extension Trail. Instead, follow the loop trail back to the north and then east to the parking lot.

Indiana Dunes Trail 9
Description: Moderate
Distance:
3.8 mi Time: 1hr. 41 min.
Location:
1600 N 25 East, Chesterton, $7 fee, Indiana Dunes State Park
   
One of the most favorite trails Indiana Dunes Trail 9 is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from April until September. This trail has a view from the ridge, various elevations and several blowout areas. Park at the Nature Center or the Wilson Shelter.  Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.    

Cowles Bog Trail
Description: Moderate
Distance:
4.3 mi Time: 1hr. 52 min.
Location:
2752 US Hwy 12 Town of Pines, Indiana Dunes National Park
    
Cowles Bog Trail is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Dune Acres, Indiana that features a lake and is rated as moderate. Path travels along the edge of a wetland with abundant plant and wildlife diversity. At roughly the one-mile mark, you will reach the loop trail junction. The preferred direction around the loop is counterclockwise. Take the trail to the right. The trail will now run through black oak savanna and between interdunal ponds filled with aquatic life. Dr. Henry Cowles conducted much of his early work in plant ecology and succession in the early 1900s, remains an important focus for scientific study today. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Coffee Creek Long Loop & Short Loop
Description: Easy
Distance:
3.1 mi Time: 1hr. 19  min.
Location:
Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve
     These trails have several options along the way to change your distance and benches to sit. There is a nice parking lot and pond with a Large fountain that has several nice lookout spots.  Crosses over several nice boardwalks and bridges. Can be muddy in the Spring and Fall after heavy rains. Fine in the Summer and Winter. The Short Loop is 1.3 mi, time is 33 minutes.

Bluhm West Woods and Lincoln Memorial Trail
Description: Easy
Distance:
1.2 mi Time: 1 hr.
Location:
3855 S. 1100 West, Westville, Bluhm County Park, LaPorte Indiana
    This trail has several benches along the way and you’ll also discover a working windmill and a beautiful pond. There are some urban areas, but makes for a great family hike. Keep to the right to travel the looped trail.

Indiana Dunes Trail 8
Description:
Rugged
Distance: 1.5
mi Time: 1hr. 3  min.
Location:
1600 N 25 East, Chesterton, Cost $7 for in state. Indiana Dunes State park
     Trail 8 is 1.4 miles and rugged.  Parking available at Nature Center or Wilson Shelter.Trail 8 is the official beginning of the 3 Dune Challenge and goes to the beach with 3 incredible vistas along the way. It’s rugged when you get to climb Mt Jackson which is a 176 sand dune. Then you’ll be climbing Mt. Holden which is 184 feet but the view is spectacular. Finally there are 101 steps from the stairs to Mt. Tom. Take Trail 4 back or the finish goes to the beach.


Imagination Glen
Description:
Moderate
Distance:
6.9 mi Time: 2 hr. 55 min.
Location:
Imagination Glen Park, 2275 McCool Rd, Portage Indiana
    There are Two sections of this trail, both are loops. You have the front side and the dark side. All trails have narrow paths made for mountain biking. There are also a lot of wood obstacles throughout the woods made for more extreme mountain biking. It’s very pretty and follows a river throughout. Can be muddy in the Spring and Fall. Maps are suggested due to several crossing trails.

Calumet Trail
Description: Easy
Distance:
14.8 mi Time: 3hr. 44 min.
Location:
Chesterton, Indiana
     This gravel trail follows the South Shore Railroad tracks and is underneath large power lines. There is no shade. The trail can be impassible (i.e. wet shoes) due to standing water along much of the trail that can be 4-6″ deep in spots. The trail is not suitable for road bikes. The west trailhead parking lot connects to the Porter Brickyard Trail and the Cowles Bog Trail System (no bikes allowed). There is access to the Dunes Kankakee Trail and Indiana Dunes State Park trail system at the South Shore Dunes Park train station. At East State Park Road (Kemil Road or 300E), there is access across U.S. Highway 12 to the Glenwood Dunes Trail System (no bikes allowed) and the Calumet Dunes Trail (no bikes allowed). At Broadway Avenue (Beverly Shores), there is access to the Great Marsh Trail (no bikes allowed) and the national park’s Dunewood Campground. At the east trailhead, the parking lot on U.S. Highway 12 is close to the Mount Baldy Trail System. Can be muddy in the Spring and Fall.

Indiana Dunes Trail 10
Description: Moderate to Rugged
Distance:
12.4 km Time: 3 hr 15  min.
Location:
Indiana Dunes State Park, Fee: $7 per car instate
     Park at either the beach or at the Nature Center. The preferred direction is counter-clockwise. The first half of the hike is on flat to rolling trail in the forest. The footing is good with a mixture of sand and packed dirt. The trail is never crowded, even on summer weekends.
     At the furthest point east, the trail will turn north and climb over a steep vegetated sand dune. Footing is loose sand. Once to the lake, the trail back to the beach Pavilion runs along the beach. The beach is amazingly pristine. Take plenty of water as this hike will take longer than it appears due to the loose sand. This trail has long stretches of Lake Michigan.

Trail 2 to Trail 10 via Waverly Road Loop
Description: Easy
Distance: 9.7 km Time: 2hr. 29 min.
Location: Indiana Dunes State park
     Trail 2 to Trail 10 via Waverly Beach Loop is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. This trail can be muddy in the Spring and Fall.    

Beach Trail to Waverly Beach
Description: Easy
Distance: 1.6 km Time:  25 min.
Location: Indiana Dunes State park
     Beach Trail to Waverly Beach is a 1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Chesterton, Indiana and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Barnett Hill and Mount Morse Via Trail 9 & Trail 10 Loop
Description:
Easy
Distance:
6 mi Time: 2hr. 35  min.
Location:
Indiana Dunes State park
     Barnett Hill and Mount Morse Via Trail 9 and Trail 10 Loop is a 6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Chesterton, Indiana that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Meadowbrook Nature Preserve
Description: Easy
Distance:
2.1 mi Time: 54  min.
Location:
 
     Meadowbrook is a high quality forest and a natural habitat for migratory birds. Located at the home of the Shirley Heinze Land Offices, there is a parking lot and restrooms. More info and map here. http://www.heinzetrust.org/meadowbrook.html

Great Marsh Trail
Description: Easy
Distance: 1. Mi. Time: 34 min.
Location: 500 S. Broadway, Beverly Shores, Indiana Dunes National park
     There are two small gravel lots at the trailhead. This trail can be muddy after a Rainfall. Dogs are not allowed which makes it great for birders. You’ll see waterfowl, ducks, geese, and red-winged blackbirds, red-headed woodpeckers, sandhill cranes and herons. Enjoy the Great Marsh Overlook.

Bailly Homestead / Chellberg
Description:
Easy
Distance: 1.8 km Time:  29 min.
Location: 618 Mineral Springs Rd, Indiana Dunes National park

     There is a parking lot at the end of Howe Rd., Restrooms at the Chellberg Farm. This trail crosses over the river a couple of times with a series of boardwalks across wetlands. Can be muddy. Maps are suggested because there are several other trails that appear.

Sunset Hill Farm County Park
Description: Easy
Distance: 5 mi. Time:  2 hr. (taking all trails)
(Several short Trails Available.)
Location: 775 Meridian Rd., Valparaiso
     The trails are well kept and well marked. Trail 1 borders the Murray Woods Nature Preserve that leads to the campground. There are several clearing areas, and some wooded areas. There are restrooms and dogs are allowed with a large parking lot. Maps are suggested as there are several trails to take. Read Our Full Article, Click HERE!

Zona Wildlife Sanctuary
Description: Easy – Moderate
Distance: 2.1 mi. Time:  several small trails
Location: 601 E. 950 N, Westville, IN

     This location has several trails available that are clearly marked. This area was once a farm, but it is a scenic route through the forest. This trail does have a parking lot and is dog-friendly with restrooms. Picnic tables, benches and interpretive panels are located along the trails.

Gabis Arboretum
Description: Very mild
Distance:
Several trails with various distances. Flat paved trails great for runners.
Location:
444W. 100N , Valparaiso, IN, 46385 
These trails are meant for the novice hiker. Not meant for a “serious” hiking experience. Great for families with young children.  Read Our Full Article HERE

Trail 4 to Mount Tom
Description:
Moderate
Distance: 2.1 km Time: 41 min.
Location: Chesterton, Indiana

Dunes Park Train Station to D
Description: Easy
Distance:
6.1 mi Time: 2hr. 31 min.
Location:
Chesterton, Indiana

Bluhm County Park Gust Trail
Description: Easy
Distance:
1.1 mi Time: 28  min.
Location:
Bluhm County Park, LaPorte Indiana

Indiana Dunes Trail 3
Description:
Easy
Distance: 2.3 km Time: 38 min.
Location: Indiana Dunes State park

Partial Source: alltrails.com, hikingproject.com,

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained. PanoramaNOW is not liable for damages arising from errors or outdated information.

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Sue Baxter