The Ridge, Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton

Directions:  Exit I-80, I-94, at State 49 North.  49 ends at the entrance to the Indiana Dunes State Park.   Ask the attendant at the gate for a trail map. Take the first road to the right and follow to the end.  Park at the Wilson Shelter.  Most trails can be accessed from here.

Trail Information: My favorite and most scenic is the "Ridge" (Trail # 9)  3.75 mile, starts at the north end of the Wilson Shelter parking lot. The trail crosses a small boardwalk, veers to the right and takes a left at the big tree in the middle of the trail. Follows 1.2 mile hilly, sand and dirt trail to a picnic table.   Takes a left and continues up to the "Ridge".  The trail winds up and down a narrow path atop a dune ridge, with a climax forest to the left and Lake Michigan shoreline to your right. At the peak of the trail, the view of the park, lake and on a clear day Chicago, is breathtaking.  Be careful, it's a great workout, but can be an ankle buster.  Lots of roots to watch for and plenty of scenery to distract you.

Miscellaneous Information: There is an entrance fee from Labor to Memorial Day.  Numerous trails marked # 1 - 10 , from .75 to 5.5 mile in length.   Easy to rugged.  Combinations and loops of the trails are easy for long runs (#2 and # 10) or serious hill work outs (# 9 and #8). 

Craig Henderson