Hike, bike, paddle, bird, and fish at the Indiana Dunes! Local adventurer Paul Osborn can show you some of the many adventures just waiting to be discovered.
Paul starts his adventure at the Visitor Center, the crossroads of Indiana Dunes Country. You can rent a bike right here in the parking lot from Pedal Power Rentals. They'll rent you a vintage or modern bike with everything you need: a helmet for your safety, a bike lock so you can park and explore, and an easy-to-read map to get you where you're going. Set your pace and head straight to the beach along the Dunes Kankakee Trail. You'll be within sight of the waves in minutes!
If you're like Paul, you'll have heard all about the 3 Dune Challenge at the Visitor Center. Once inside the State Park, it's just a short ride over to the Nature Center, where you can take the challenge by following Trail 8. What makes the hike so difficult isn't the 1.5-mile trek or even the height. The real challenge is the sand itself. Your feet will sink into the sand as you climb, making you work harder with each and every step—which makes it more fun, according to Paul.
The 3 Dune Challenge is full of incredible views and secret hideaways where you can bask in the sun and feel at peace in the nature surrounding you. When you make it to the top of the last dune, take in amazing views before heading back down to the beach.
Tired yet? Don't worry, there's more! If you're like Paul, you can fit so many outdoor adventures into one afternoon at the Indiana Dunes. Drop your bike back off at the Visitor Center and prepare to set sail! It's time to board your own kayak and launch into the lagoon at Marquette Park. Paddling along at the edge of Lake Michigan, you can enjoy three activities in one! The area is a prime location for some of the best birding in the midwest, so make sure you bring your binoculars. If you are a beginning birder, you can borrow a backpack full of birding tools from a number of locations, including the Visitor Center. The lagoon is also great for fishing, so lean back in your kayak and cast a line—you're in for a fantastic afternoon.
After Paul's long day of adventure, he still found time for a gorgeous sunset walk along the beach. On clear days, you can see the outline of Chicago just over the horizon. Can you imagine a more beautiful ending to such an exciting day? Pick a nice day, and experience Paul's Indiana Dunes adventure for yourself!