Dig the Dunes has compiled a list of our favorite trails in the area for fall hiking. These are based on our favorites, and of course, we’d love to hear some of yours. The most important thing is to get out there and enjoy this beautiful area during these crisp and clear autumn days!
In no particular order….
The Marquette Lagoon along the Miller Woods Trail
Miller Woods Trail. The Miller Woods trails is one of the only places you can see the rare Oak Savanna. This out and back trail is gorgeous any time of the year, but on a clear sunny day when you reach the lagoon, there is nothing more beautiful. If you continue past the lagoon, you can climb a few dunes and reach the beach. There is also a shorter loop at the front of the trail for those that just want to get out for a short walk. There is a small parking lot just off lake street near the Douglas Center.
The bog along the Cowles Bog trail is actually a fen!
Cowles Bog Trail. Cowles Bog is great for hiking, or running. One of the longer loops in the area, this runs 4.5-5 miles when done in it’s entirety. This trail also reaches the beach and there are some very steep dunes to climb. There are two spots to park at Cowles Bog, one just off 12 at the greenbelt lot and the other just to the right of the guard’s gate in Dune Acres.
A view from the Ridge on Trail 9
Trail 9 Indiana Dunes State Park “The Ridge”. This trail is gorgeous any time of the year. You start with a walk through the forest and then ascend upon the ridge overlooking the beach. This is a beautiful walk with amazing views and a great spot for photos. You can also see the Furnessville Blowout. Parking is available at the Nature Center in the Indiana Dunes State Park.
Tolleston Dunes is great for running or hiking. There is a long and short loop.
Tolleston Dunes. This trail located just off Hwy. 12 near Ogden Dunes is perfect for everyone. There is a short loop and a long loop. Fun for walking or hiking, this trail takes you deep into the forest and up onto the ridges of the old Tolleston dunes that were formed 10,000 years ago. There is even an abandoned old car somewhere deep in the woods. See if you can find it!
The prairie along the Little Calumet River Trail is full of crickets this time of year!
Little Calumet River Trail. Located in Porter county, this trail is connected to the Bailly Homestead trails, but should not be confused with them. There is a parking lot on Howe Road. The trail starts with the prairie, which is gorgeous, especially in the fall as plants and flowers have grown quite tall. The trail then descends into the woods where you will find bridges, the river and many different birds. This trail can be quite muddy at the end, so fall is the perfect time as it seems a little drier with less rain. Lots of crickets in the prairie!