National Park Service to Rename Two Areas of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

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Date: October 3, 2012
Contact: Bruce Rowe, 219-395-1609

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: The National Park Service will be renaming two areas of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to better represent the natural resources of the park. The area now known as Inland Marsh will be renamed Tolleston Dunes. The area now known as the Ly-Co-Ki-We Trail will be renamed the Glenwood Dune Trail.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established to protect and preserve the unique natural resources at the tip of Lake Michigan, originally formed some 14,000 years ago when the Wisconsin glacier, the last glacier to cover this region, began melting. As the ice melted, Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes were left behind. On Lake Michigan, as many as seven successive shorelines were formed during the melting process, giving rise to our modern day beaches, sand dunes, and interdunal wetlands.

Today, four major dune complexes are preserved and can be seen within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Beginning with the current shoreline and moving inland into progressively older dunes, they include the present dune formation, known as the Tolleston dunes, and the older Calumet dunes and Glenwood dunes.  

The Calumet dunes are highlighted in the national lakeshore's Calumet Dune Trail in the east district of the park. However, there are no places in the park named for the Tolleston dunes or the Glenwood dunes. These dunes are significant park resources and a major consideration in how the park was established and where the boundaries were located. It is appropriate that these significant resources be highlighted on the landscape.

Farthest inland are the Glenwood dunes, representing the oldest of three earlier shorelines and dating to about 14,000 years ago. One of the best places to see this dune line in the park is in the area around the Ly-Co-Ki-We Trail. The name Ly-Co-Ki-We is not a Native American name and has no historic connotation with the area. Renaming this trail the Glenwood Dune Trail is a more accurate name for this part of the national lakeshore and will emphasize this geological feature.

The Tolleston dunes, dating from about 4,500 years ago, can be seen in the area now called Inland Marsh, named for the former Inland Steel Corporation that once owned part of this area. Most of the area is actually savanna, dunes, and marsh. Inland Marsh is inaccurately named and the name does not appropriately encompass the adjoining savanna and dunes areas that have become part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Renaming this location Tolleston Dunes gives definition to this section of the park and lets visitors know where to find the third of the historic shorelines.

Charlotte Read, long-time advocate for the Indiana Dunes comments that "Herb and I lived for many years on a dune where the Calumet Dunes and Glenwood Dunes intersect. Just a few steps north of our former home is my favorite national lakeshore hiking trail, now called the Ly-co-ki-we trail. I support renaming it the Glenwood Trail, which tells hikers as they trek eastward that the higher dunes they see are part of the Glenwood stage of dune development. Changing Inland Marsh to the Tolleston Dunes will also help folks become more geologically savvy."

Dr. Ken Schoon, author of the book Calumet Beginnings agrees that the changes are a good idea. "I welcome the change in names because these new designations will make it easier for both visitors and local residents to understand the area's rich geological history. The National Lakeshore contains diverse ecosystems. The older Glenwood dunes for instance look different from and have different vegetation than the younger Tolleston and recent dunes. Once these names are on lakeshore maps, visitors can easily go from one dune complex to the next and see the differences for themselves."

Taken as a whole, the Tolleston Dunes area, Calumet Dune Trail, and Glenwood Dune Trail will help visitors better understand the geological and geographic resources of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The new names also illustrate why the founders of the national park chose areas inland from the shore for protection and inclusion in the park boundaries.

The name changes will begin in October 2012. It will take time to change signs and publications. The National Park Service will refer to the new and old names of these areas for some time until the full transition to the new names is completed.

For more information, contact public information officer Bruce Rowe at 219-395-1609.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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