On a whirlwind 23 hour business trip to northern Indiana, I couldn’t resist a small detour to get my hiking fix in.
And it was an extra treat, as Indiana Dunes National Park had not been checked off of my bucket list thus far. It became my 49th of 63 to conquer!
On the 75 min stretch from Chicago to Michigan City, IN, you get to hug the Great Lakes coastline and pass right by the shifting dunes. Being that my yearly America the Beautiful National Park pass had just expired, I made the commitment to continue my nature geek status into 2023.
In the summertime heat of mid-July, I plowed forward first to the 1.1 mile Dunes Succession trail which had a mixture of stairs and sand to get the heart pumping. I quickly remembered I don’t like sand hikes but my kick in’ playlist kept me motivated. And from the shoreline haze, you could even make out in the distance the impressive skyline of downtown Chicago.
Next I tackled the Cowles Bog trail for 3+ miles walking through a diverse landscape of marshes, black oak savannahs and the final steep sand dune leading to sweeping views of Lake Michigan.
I ended the day hoping to summit Mt. Baldy but the climb was closed indefinitely due to erosion, so I opted to enjoy the beach overlook for some quiet time of reflection prior to making the last 5 mile drive to the casino to get down to business.