Trail 9 Indiana Dunes State Park - Trail Climb Nation

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Trail 9 Indiana Dunes State Park

Trail 9 Indiana Dunes State Park

A lot of people tell my wife and I that we are lake people. We were married on a lake. We had our actual big wedding celebration on a lake. Our favorite hikes have been to alpine lakes. I have always considered us to be mountain hikers. Lakes conjure up thoughts of boating weekends with coolers full of beer. At least they used to conjure up those thoughts. Now I think of hikes into seclusion to view the beauty of water in nature. Trail 9 found in the Indiana Dunes State Park is one such hike. You may not have incredible seclusion. You may not hike to a little lake secluded in nature. But the same way a mountain can make you feel small a giant lake can do the same. Trail 9 is a hike right next to Lake Michigan. The entire hike gives you panoramic views of an the giant body of water.

Indiana Dunes State Park consists of 2,182 acres of primitive, beautiful, historic and unique Hoosier landscape. It lies at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County, and includes more than three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. In the early 1900s scientists, recreationists and nature enthusiasts, recognizing the value and potential of the Indiana dunes area, fought to have the region preserved. As a result, in 1925, the state park was established. Large sand dunes, located beyond the entire shoreline, have taken thousands of years to form, and tower nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan. A wide range of habitats and plant species are found in the park, with vegetation stabilizing some of the sand. These habitats provide homes for many types of plants and animals. The lake also provides habitat for many aquatic species, as well as a constantly changing fishery.

A wide variety of hiking trails traverse the various habitats and cultural history of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The varying lengths and difficulty levels make it easy to choose the trail that’s right for you. From a short easy stroll to a challenging all-day trek, most of the trails are open all year and the hiking experience will change with each season.

This is the definitive trail in the dunes. It combines hiking through mature forests and along the top of a dune ridge overlooking Lake Michigan. The views are incredible. The gem of this trail is Beach House Blowout, a huge bowl of sand. The trail winds along its narrow edge affording views in every direction.

Park at the Nature Center parking lot. The trailhead is well marked. The preferred route is to stay on Trail 9 for its entire length. At the base of Beach House Blowout, stay low (to the right) to hike the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. This will keep you low through the forest on the way out.

At the farthest point, the trail will turn to the left and climb up the dune. Lake Michigan will come into view. The trail returns along the ridge line culminating at Big Beach House Blowout. The views and topography are incredible. The trail literally falls off the back out the blowout and returns to the Nature Center using the same trail.

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