In 2015, on one of our day-trips from Chicago, Lizzie and I visited Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park. The National Lakeshore is unique because it is a patchwork of protected lands broken into sections by harbors and factories.
We started off our day by hiking the Dune Succession Trail, which is part of the West Beach Trail System.
The trail is popular and well photographed due to the view of the dunes and Lake Michigan from the top of the 250 stairs. Since we are both crazy, instead of hiking this trail as a loop where you only have to do the stairs once – we went down the stairs, along the beach a bit, and then back up the 250 stairs.
January turned out to be a nice time to do this hike as there were maybe 10 other people in the West Beach area. If hiked as a loop, the Dune Succession Trail is a mile long. There are two other loop trails at West Beach for a combined total of 3.5 miles of hiking trails.
It was extremely cool seeing all the ice piled up on the beach.
We also hiked the short loop of the Tolleston Dunes Trail, but managed to only take two photos, so I won’t devote a whole post to it. It was a pretty hike through trees and sand dunes that date back 10,000 years ago to when Lake Michigan was 25 feet higher than it is today.