• Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Indiana Dunes

    National Lakeshore Indiana

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  • Mount Baldy Area is Closed

    The Mount Baldy area is closed due to hazardous conditions until further notice.

Cowles Bog

Pages from Cowles Bog trail map resized
Click on the above image for the full trail map.
Park Facility Trail Map Latitude Longitude Street Address
Cowles Bog Trail System Cowles Bog Trail System 041.38.55N 087.05.08W N. Mineral Springs Road, Chesterton 46304

Visitor Activities:

  • Bird along the dike and trail
  • Walk up a steep dune on a designated trail
  • Hike two miles to the beach
  • Anchor your boat near the shore and picnic on the beach


  • Area opens at 7 a.m. and closes 30 minutes past sunset, daily
  • Parking for cars in a north lot near the Dune Acres guard shack, and a south lot by Mineral Springs Road & Highway 12
  • Porta-potty
  • Information board listing current park activities

Fun Facts:

  • This is where Henry Cowles conducted his historical plant studies.

  • Excellent site for birding

Driving Directions:

  1. Starting at I-94 and Indiana 49, go north about 3 miles to U.S. Highway 12.
  2. Take the U.S. Highway 12 exit (exit is on left).
  3. Turn left onto U.S. Highway 12 / Dunes Highway.
  4. Take U.S. Highway 12 two miles until you reach Mineral Springs Road.
  5. Turn right onto Mineral Springs Road; Cowles Bog parking area will be on your left (west).

Cowles Bog

Did You Know?

a sea of tall grasses and catails in a marsh setting and trees in the background

Cowles Bog is not a true bog but rather a fen because it has an underground water source. This water source has contact with limestone bedrock, making the fen’s water slightly alkaline. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is restoring a portion of this fen.