• 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.

Heron Rookery

Park Facility

Trail Name

Lat/Long coordinates

Street Address/Road intersections

Heron Rookery River Trail (no trail map) 041.37.37N 086.57.07W N. County Road 600 E. Michigan City 46360 (mapquest-Heron Rookery)
Visitor Activities:
  • Watch the Great Blue Herons return to their "rookery" in mid-March when they repair their nest. The herons are visible until early May when the new leaves on the trees block the view. The rest of the summer and into the fall they can be seen feeding in the shallow waters throughout the Dunes Region.
  • View spring wild flowers from late March until early June
  • Bird during the spring and fall migration
  • Fish and watch fish swim in the Little Calumet River
  • Area opens at sunrise and close 30 minutes past sunset
  • No restroom facilities
  • Small parking lot, large enough to back up and turn around busses & RV's spaces
Fun Facts:
  • The Heron Rookery was so named because the Great Blue Herons had developed a "rookery" with over 100 nests.
Driving Directions:
  1. Starting at U.S. 94/80 and Indiana 49, go north 1 mile on Indiana 49
  2. Take the U.S. 20 east ramp (right) and go east on U.S. 20 5 3/10 miles
  3. Turn right (south) on County Road 500 E/Brown Road and go 2 1/2 miles (road ends)
  4. Turn left (east) on County Road 1400 N and go 1 mile (road ends)
  5. Turn right (south) on County Road 600 E and go about 1/2 miles (cross bridge), turn right into parking area
map with route highlighted to the Heron Rookery

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.