Indiana Dunes State Park has again garnered national attention, this time by
being chosen by USA Today as one of the best places in the nation to hike.
USA Today last week ran a feature called “51 scenic hikes,” and they
enlisted local experts to pick one great place to hike in each state and the
District of Columbia. In Indiana, USA Today chose Dunes State Park based on
the recommendation of Sally McKinney, author of Hiking Indiana.
“East of the Nature Center, choose the wide, sandy path to Indiana Dunes
Nature Preserve,” USA Today wrote. “Enter black oak and maple forest and
find dramatic dune country blowouts amid shifting sand hills. Green grasses
and sedge poke up between matted, dry leaves; moss forms a natural carpet.
From the crest of high dunes, look out over vast Lake Michigan.”
Brandt Baughman, park manager at Indiana Dunes State Park, said the
description fits the park’s Trail 9, one of six trails in the park which
together total 16.5 miles.
Baughman added that he is pleased the park was recognized as a hiker’s
destination just a short time after Midwest Living magazine named the park
one of its “Best State Parks.” “This is one I can certainly agree with,” he
said. “Our trail system in the state park is certainly phenomenal, among the
best I’ve been on anywhere, and I’m glad to see it recognized. It’s such a
unique trail system and a diverse trail system. You’re not going to see
anything else like it in Indiana and the rest of the Midwest.”
Although Trail 9 is certainly as great as described, Baughman noted, all of
the park’s trails have their own unique attractions.
Porter County’s parks and attractions have attracted a lot of positive
attention this season. In its June edition, Parents magazine picked Indiana
Dunes National Lakeshore’s West Beach, located in Portage, as one of the Top
10 Best Family Beaches in the nation.
for more information about Dunes State Park.