Hike the Cowles Bog Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Cowles Bog Trail - Search Nearby - 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...

Distance

3.4 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

200 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

Nearby Lodging

Coloma / St. Joseph KOA

Benton Harbor, Michigan

Kankakee South KOA

Kankakee, Illinois

Covert / South Haven KOA

Covert, Michigan

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike the Indiana Dunes State Park Loop

Adventure

Hike the Dune Succession Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Adventure

Hike The Glacier Flats Trail at Spicer Lake Nature Reserve

Adventure

Camp at Warren Dunes State Park

More Nearby Adventures