Hiking two trails at Indiana Dunes State Park

By Lindsey Casbon, Indiana Dunes Tourism

What could be better than climbing a giant sand dune? Climbing three giant sand dunes! The 3 Dune Challenge takes the three tallest sand dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park and turns it into a 1.5-mile hiking challenge.

Me (on the left) enjoying the dunes with a friend. Photo by Max Catterson.
Me (on the left) enjoying the dunes with a friend.
Photo by Max Catterson.

When I heard the challenge was only 1.5 miles, I thought it would be a piece of cake, but that wasn’t the case. While hiking these dunes, there are parts that slant up to a 40-degree angle, which is what makes it so challenging.

While a couple friends and I hiked the challenge, we found ourselves laughing about how out of breath we were. Naturally, our laughter made the hike even more challenging, but it was still a great time all around.

The 3 Dune Challenge, which can be done any day of the year, is something that friends and families can do on a regular or traditional basis for a fun way to exercise.

After undertaking the 3 Dune Challenge, we weren’t ready to leave the dunes just yet. I had heard about the stunning views of Trail 9, so we decided to give that a try. The 3.75-mile trail was everything it was talked up to be. It went through the woods where plenty of birds and wildlife were spotted, up the sandy dunes, and around a ravine which gave us an amazing view of Lake Michigan.

At Indiana Dunes State Park along Lake Michigan, you're rewarded for your efforts with awesome views. Photo by Max Catterson.
At Indiana Dunes State Park along Lake Michigan, you’re rewarded for your efforts with awesome views. Photo by Max Catterson.

As being a moderately in-shape person, I was able to complete the 3 Dune Challenge with the added hike along Trail 9 comfortably. Make sure to take your own hiking ability into account while taking on the 3 Dune Challenge and stop for a break when needed.

Bring along a cooler with some snacks to relax on the dunes after you complete the challenge. Make a day out of it with your friends and family and enjoy the beautiful scenery that you can’t get just anywhere.


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