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Top Five Places to Enjoy Fall Colors in the Indiana Dunes

Starting around mid-October, the trees in the Indiana Dunes area explode with vibrant autumn colors. Here are five places you can view the canopies of warm reds, oranges, and yellows that blanket the dunes and the surrounding communities every fall. Whether you’re looking to take in the stunning views from the comfort of your car or get up close while hiking or wandering through the great outdoors, we have just the spots for you.

Paul H. Douglas Trail

The Paul H. Douglas Trail, also known locally as Miller Woods, offers several trail options for autumn color viewing. The beach trail is 3.4 miles and winds through black oak savanna woodlands and out to the shores of Lake Michigan. The 0.9-mile Douglas Center trail loops around the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education and through the surrounding wetlands. This Douglas Center loop also includes a 0.2-mile accessible boardwalk.

park ranger and woman view the fall colors on a boardwalk

Drive along Highway 12

Tree-lined Highway 12 runs east and west across the northern part of Indiana and right through the Indiana Dunes National Park. While leisurely driving down this backroads highway gives visitors a good view of fall colors, it also conveniently connects to many of the national park properties.

Pickup Truck with bicycles in the back. Fall leaves in the background

Bailly Homestead & Chellberg Farm

The Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm boast some of the most beautiful fall scenes in the area. The homestead and farm buildings nestled against the warm-hued trees in the background make for stunning photographs. Behind the homestead is the Little Calumet River Trail which bends through a ravine and beach maple woodlands.

Barn at Chellberg Farm

Aerial View of Chellberg Farm and the surround woodlands

The Dunes & Lake Fall Drive

The Dunes and Lake Drive takes you on an enjoyable ride to the coast of Lake Michigan, through marshlands exploding with color, and offers many great places to stop for a picture opportunity or hike. The drive begins at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center where you can find out more about the area from our front desk or by picking up on of our destination guides. The drive takes you to the Indiana Dunes State Park, the Century of Progress Homes in Beverly Shores, Brinkca Cross Gardens, and the tiny, historic town of Furnessville.

The full Dunes and Lake Drive can be found in our Indiana Dunes Activities Guide.

Century of Progress Home "The Florida House"

Downtowns & Country Roads Drive

The Downtowns and Country Roads Drive takes you through charming downtowns and down scenic country roads. With stops like Chesterton’s European Market, Valparaiso’s Central Plaza, Anderson’s Winery and Vineyard, and Sunset Hill County Park, this drive oozes autumn charm and offers plenty of opportunities to sample local fall flavors.

The full Downtowns and Country Roads Drive can be found in our Indiana Dunes Activities Guide.

People interested in learning about more places to view fall colors in the Indiana Dunes can pick up one of our destination guides at the Indiana Dunes Visitors Center, 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter, IN, or can download an electronic version from IndianaDunes.com.

Do you have a favorite fall spot in the area? Post your favorite fall Indiana Dunes area photos to social media and tag @IndianaDunes or email your photos to [email protected] We may feature your picture on our next Travel Blog!

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