What is the Diana Dunes Dare?
It is a hiking challenge!
We are daring you to be like dune advocate Alice Mabel Gray, also known as Diana of the Dunes. She hiked and lived in the dunes on her own in an abandoned shanty for over 9 years in the early 1900s and took an interest in the history, ecology, and preservation of Indiana Dunes.
Alice? Who is Alice?
Diana of the Dunes became a legend in her own time. She was born in Chicago as Alice Mabel Gray. She was tagged Diana of the Dunes by area reporters because she chose to live a very different life from most of the women at that time. She was a well educated woman who studied at the University of Chicago and worked for a time at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington DC as a computer (Note: In Alice’s time, a “computer” was a person who did mathematical calculations as a profession). She had a profound change of heart for reasons that are not very clear, but many newspapers at the time created a persona for the woman who chose to live alone in the wilds of the Indiana dunes. Well, won’t spoil the entire plot here, so you will have to get out to West Beach and read the signs to complete the dare.
What’s the trail like?
Starting from the parking lot, hikers can climb the newly named Diana’s Dune. Count the steps along the way! At the first wayside, you can pause on top of the great staircase and let the breeze surround you as it heightens your senses. At this boundless vantage point you can choose your view. You can gaze 36 miles into the distance to see the towering might of Chicago, the birthplace of our gallant advocate Alice. You can choose to see the abrupt line of contrast of where industry and nature collide. Or you can turn your regard to the delicate, diverse rolling beauty of the dune succession and its fragility.
As if this isn’t enough to tempt you to complete the dare...
Once complete, grab your iconic sticker as a badge of honor to go with your bragging rights on completing the dare at one of our centers.
How to Complete the Dare.
1 - Go to West Beach.
West Beach Parking Lot
2 - Follow Diana’s footsteps.
Hike the trail and read the waysides
3 - Share your Dare
Selfie and Post (Selfie station located in West Beach Bathhouse)
Collect your sticker at one of the park locations:
Last updated: August 3, 2021