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Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail

No question about it—northwestern Indiana boasts beautiful beaches and stunning Lake Michigan shoreline. But there’s far more to the Indiana Dunes region than waves and sand. Step beyond the beach, and you’ll enter a landscape of rolling dunes, oak barrens, native prairie, and wetlands.

FlowersHave you heard the raucous din of ten thousand sandhill cranes during autumn migration? Have you watched rare Karner blue butterflies floating among wild lupines? Or tapped a sugar maple and basked in the steamy, sweet fragrance of the sugarhouse in springtime? Have you stood chest-deep in a field of prairie wildflowers?

If not, it’s high time you visited the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail, which will guide you to more than 50 sites that showcase this region’s greatest natural and cultural treasures. From hiking and biking to birding and fishing, you’ll find outdoor recreation of all kinds along the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail, plus museums and historic sites that will immerse you in the region’s cultural history.

Coffee_Creek_ParkUnlike a linear hiking or biking trail, the Discovery Trail allows you to set your own route and visit those sites that best fit your interests and timetable. This website is chock-full of information to help you plan your visit. Take a look at the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail Map to see where all 54 sites are located. Then visit the Dunes, Moraine, and Kankakee region links for an introduction to each region and in-depth descriptions of the regional sites you can visit.

Visit our Blog for interactive information about the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail. On the blog, you can enter your bird sightings in our e-Bird log, Twitter us with exciting discoveries along your Beyond the Beach travels, or read our latest entries on the culture, nature, history, and recreation opportunities along the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail. Visit our calendar to find out about upcoming area events.

To obtain a copy of our 60+ page guide with a pullout map, e-mail us at or call us toll-free at 800-283-8687 and we’ll send you a copy. Be sure to visit for more information about visiting our beautiful region.

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