Route: Indiana Dunes High Traverse (IN)

Submitted by Michael Drazer on Sun, 08/23/2020 - 02:49pm
Indiana, US
16 mi
Vertical Gain
1,200 ft

This point-to-point route is located in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and National Park, as well as the state park. It showcases the full spectrum of ecological diversity in the area. The route begins on the Little Calumet trail, which is located near the western border of the national park in Bailly Chellberg Farm. The farm is notable for its prairies, boardwalks, and well groomed trails. The route then dives into the Cowles Bog area, which contains a wide variety of wildlife and botanic diversity. The Cowles Bog trail contains a number of challenging sand dune descents and ascents. The route then leads to the front entrance to the larger, more developed state park (check entrance fees and carry some cash in case they are charging a fee when you arrive). Here, the route incorporates the "Three Dunes Challenge" route, a short and challenging, but scenic, series of climbs up and down three sand dunes, before finishing on "The Ridge", a classic proving ground for local runners that winds through a series of "Blowout Dunes". The route then finishes at the end of trail 10, on the shore of Lake Michigan. This ending is located at the eastern end of the state park, near the town of Beverly Shores, which also serves as a convenient location for departure via vehicle. 

This route is a superb, challenging introduction to the various types of trails that are well known to local trail runners. It is also an excellent route for backpackers and hikers who are interested in exploring the ecological diversity of the Indiana Dune area.



Cool route Michael! Roughly how much of this would you say is sand? (i.e., 90%? 50%? 25%)? Thanks!

I'm headed north today to take a crack at this route. Michael, the route's originator, has graciously offered to run a portion of it with me to help with navigation, so this will be a supported attempt.

Would an all-trails track be accepted to track an unsupported fkt on this route? 

Yes, AllTrails GPS activites can be used for verification. (Sorry for the delay; at present, these comments don't generate any notifications to regional editors.)