Hike the Cowles Bog Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Rate this Adventure 3.4 miles 200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Elyse Clark

This is a short and simple hike across interesting dune ecosystems to a secluded beach area along Lake Michigan with views of the Chicago skyline.

To get to the trailhead parking lot: take Mineral Springs Road towards the community of Dune Acres. Just before you get to the guard shack for the community, turn onto the gravel road to the right - there will be signs indicating Cowles Bog Trail parking. Once parked, walk back towards the Dune Acres guard shack, then cross the road to begin the hike. 

You will walk by a marsh for about 0.2 miles, then cross a new bridge (as of November 2017) across the marsh.  When you reach a trail junction after 0.8 miles, turn right. You'll reach another trail junction after another 0.5 miles (1.3 miles into the hike) - turn right here as well. 

Soon, you will climb a tall sandy dune and emerge out of the woods with views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding scenery/industrial areas.  Take the steep sandy trail down to the beach and spend some time exploring the beach. 

There are two ways to return to your car: (1) take the trail back the exact way you came, or (2) when facing Lake Michigan, walk to the left for 0.2 miles and take the loop trail back.  

For a good map of the area see here: https://www.nps.gov/indu/plany...

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Gary, Indiana

Villa Santorini + The Addition

No other vacation rental in this market offers as many luxury features, spa-like quality amenities, or showcases 270 degree, unobstructed views of Lake Michigan’s pristine beaches, the Chicago Skyl...

From $1,548/night

Gary, Indiana

The Addition At Villa Santorini

With meticulous attention to detail, the Addition was custom-designed and built for the ultimate in beach relaxation, convenience, and entertainment. This hidden gem is a unique dune-top location t...

From $350/night

Chicago, Illinois

Stylish Downtown High Rise: City Views, Pool & Gym

Enjoy breathtaking views of downtown Chicago from this stylish, 23rd-floor condo. Located in the heart of River North, this 1BR unit offers prime access to the Chicago O’Hare International Airport,...

From $91/night

South Bend, Indiana

1900's Farmhouse

Come enjoy our beautiful property at The Farmhouse Stay and find out why our guests return year after year! The Farmhouse is the perfect place for you to stay whether you are coming to the area for...

From $137.50/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Dune Park Train Station To Dunewood Campground

    Dune Park Train Station to Dunewood Campground is a 6.1 mile point-to-point hike that takes you past great forest setting located near Chesterton, Indiana.

    6.1 miles 101 ft gain

  • Hike Little Calumet River Trail Loop

    Little Calumet River and Mnoke Prairie Trail is a 3.9 mile loop hike that takes you by a river located near Chesterton, Indiana.

    3.9 miles 167 ft gain

  • Hike the Indiana Dunes State Park Loop

    The Indiana Dunes State Park Loop is a 1.6 mile trail that offers scenic dune landscapes and a view of Lake Michigan. The trail is used for hiking, and is open year-round. Dogs are allowed on the trail if kept on leash. Visitors to Indiana Dunes S...

    1.6 miles 410 ft gain

  • Hike Trail 2 To Trail 10 Via Waverly Beach Loop

    Trail 2 to Trail 10 via Waverly Beach Loop is a 6 mile loop hike that takes you past scenic views located near Chesterton, Indiana.

    6 miles 108 ft gain