Hiking at Indiana Dunes National Park

Hiking the Dune Ridge Trail.

Jeff Manuszak NPS Collection

Discover much more than just sand dunes as you hike through 14 distinct trail systems covering more than 50 miles of trails.

A wide variety of hiking trails traverse the various habitats and cultural history of Indiana Dunes National Park. The varying lengths and difficulty levels make it easy to choose the trail that's right for you. From a short easy stroll to a challenging all-day trek, most of the trails are open all year and the hiking experience will change with each season.

Paper trail maps are available at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education, and at each trailhead kiosk.

To help ensure that your hike is both safe and enjoyable, visit Trail Safety.


14 Hiking Trail Systems

Bailly Homestead, Chellberg Farm, Little Calumet River and Mnoké Prairie Trails
Featured hike: Easy to moderate, 3.4 miles in length, hike time of 2.5 hours.
Hike through a forest dominated by maple, beech, basswood and oak trees. Follow a stretch of the Little Calumet River and explore the recently restored Mnoké Prairie. Explore the historic Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm.

Calumet Dunes Trail
Featured hike: Easy, 0.5 miles in length, hike time of 20 minutes.
This short hike on a paved trail features the Calumet Dunes ridge, which was the shoreline of Lake Michigan over 12,000 years ago.

Cowles Bog Trail
Featured hike: Moderate to rugged, 4.7 miles in length, hike time of 4 hours.
This hike highlights an area of such outstanding plant diversity that it was designated as a National Natural Landmark. Explore several distinct habitats including ponds, marshes, swamps, black oak savannas and beaches.

Dune Ridge Trail
Featured hike: Moderate, 0.7 miles in length, hike time of 30 minutes.
This hike offers great views of the extensive wetlands and forests south of this tall, forested dune. Perhaps no other area in the national park will take you through as many diverse habitats in such a short trail.

Glenwood Dunes Trails
Featured hike: Moderate, 6.8 miles in length, hike time of 4 hours.
This extensive trail system features interconnected loops in mature woods ranging from less than a mile to nearly 15 miles and is popular with hikers, runners, horseback riders and cross-country skiers.

Great Marsh Trail
Featured hike: Easy, 1.3 miles in length, hike time of 1 hour.
A really nice birding hike with views of the largest wetland complex in the Lake Michigan watershed. Features a separate wheelchair accessible paved trail with quick access to an observation deck.

Heron Rookery Trail
Featured hike: Easy, 3.3 miles in length, hike time of 2 hours.
This hike follows a portion of the Little Calumet River. In the spring, the woodlands along this trail are blanketed with the most extensive display of spring wildflowers in the national park.

Hobart Prairie Grove Trails
Hobart Woodland hike: Easy, 2.2 miles in length, hike time of 1.5 hours.
This hike has views of forested ravines, bur oak savanna, and scenic Lake George.

Oak Savannah Bike Trail hike: Easy, 4 miles in length, hike time of 2 hours.
This paved rail trail offers scenic views of Lake George and mature forests and is great for hiking and biking.

Mount Baldy Beach Trail
Featured hike: Moderate to rugged, 0.75 miles in length, hike time of 1 hour.
This hike is short with a steep climb down loose sand to reach Mount Baldy beach.

Paul H. Douglas Trail (Miller Woods)
Featured hike: Moderate, 3.4 miles in length, hike time of 2 hours.
This hike through Miller Woods winds through several habitats including wetlands, globally rare black oak savanna, open dunes and beach. The views of the lake and the dunes are incredible.

Pinhook Bog Trails
Upland hike: Moderate, 2.1 miles in length, hike time of 1.5 hours.
The Upland Trail highlights a rich beech and maple forest growing on top of a glacial moraine formed about 15,000 years ago. The Upland Hike is open to the public year round without the need for a guided tour.

Bog hike*: Easy, 0.9 miles in length, hike time of 1 hour.
The Bog Trail leads to a bog in a depression in the moraine created when a large piece of ice broke off the melting glacier. The bog features an incredible habitat with unique plants.

*Restricted Access. Access to Pinhook Bog requires advance approval and accompaniment by authorized staff. There are ranger-led open houses on weekends in the summer. Program dates and times can be obtained by calling the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at (219) 395-1882. Information is also listed in the park's newspaper The Singing Sands and on the park's website calendar and Facebook page.

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Trail
Featured hike: Easy, 0.9 miles in length, hike time of 45 minutes.
This popular location is a great place to view the ever-changing seasons along Lake Michigan and watch dramatic weather and clouds build over the lake. It's an easy location to watch for migrating birds in the spring and summer, and observe shelf ice that forms along the beach edge in the winter.

Tolleston Dunes Trail
Featured hike: Moderate, 2.9 miles in length, hike time of 2 hours.
This hike winds amid varied habitats ranging from oak savanna to wetlands and plants such as prickly pear cactus, butterfly weed and lupines. Features a separate wheelchair accessible trail with quick access to an observation deck with picnic tables.

West Beach Trails
3-Loop Hike: Moderate to rugged, 3.4 miles in length, hike time of 2.5 hours.
Dunes Succession Hike: Moderate, 0.9 mile in length, hike time of 45 minutes.
These trails offer a great combination of hiking and relaxing at the beach. The trails are varied and encompass many habitats. There are great views from the top of the Dune Succession Trail stairs, a beautiful pinery of jack pines, birding opportunities along Long Lake and secluded sections of forest.


Geocaching is the anytime, anywhere adventure where players (called geocachers) use a Geocaching app or a GPS to find hidden containers around the world. For more information, please visit our Geocaching Page to view our featured park geocaches and thier latest updates.

Visit Geocaching.com or download the free Official Geocaching app to begin geocaching!

Last updated: May 16, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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