Dune Ridge Trail System

Dune Ridge Trail
 


Getting There

Need to Know
Trail Map
Featured Hikes
Nearby Hikes
Photos

The Dune Ridge Trail offers great views of the extensive wetlands and forests south of this tall, forested dune. The different habitats you'll see along the trail help make Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore one of the most biologically diverse of all the National Parks.

Trail Features: Overlook, Birding, Fall Colors, Wildflowers and Wildlife
Must See Gems: Great Marsh Overlook, Kemil Beach

 

Getting There
Dune Ridge Trailhead and Kemil Beach Parking Lot
North of U.S. Highway 12 on East State Park Road (300E), Beverly Shores, IN 46301.
Note: East State Park Road is called Kemil Road to the south of U.S. Highway 12.

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.677357, -87.008950 (Decimal Degrees)
 

Need to Know
Hours & Information

  • Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 30 minutes past sunset.
  • Free (no access fee).
  • Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed.
  • Pets are permitted on a leash (6' or shorter).
  • Trails are not wheelchair accessible.
  • Information board at the trailhead.
  • Trail surface is loose sand with some sections of packed dirt.
  • Seasonal restrooms and potable water from mid-April through mid-November.
  • Parking lot has 81 spots and will fill up quickly on summer weekends.
  • Visit the Kemil Beach page for information on swimming and other beach activities.

Safety

  • Stay on the trail to protect the wildlife and yourself.
  • Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and tuck long pants into socks to avoid ticks and poison ivy.
 


Trail Map
Click here for a list of all hiking trail maps of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Download a national parks interactive trail guide phone app. Apple or Android.
Paper trail maps are available at the trailhead kiosk and the Visitor Center.
 
Dune Ridge Trail Map
Dune Ridge Trail Map
 

Featured Hikes
Dune Ridge Trail
0.7 miles, 73 feet of elevation gain, 4% average grade, 11% maximum grade
Average hike time: 30 minutes

The featured hike is a lollipop shaped trail. From the parking lot trailhead, head south with a short tour through a foredune complex on sandy soil. It transitions into an oak savanna with a more stable soil structure, which provides better footing. At the junction with the loop trail, turn left to hike the loop in the clockwise direction. The loop starts on an old roadbed and you will need to turn right to leave the wide road onto single track. The trail will climb to the top of the dune offering sweeping views of the Great Marsh. Follow the trail along the ridge line before hiking down a steep section of loose sand. The trail will wind back to the loop junction. At the junction, turn left and follow the trail north to the parking lot.

History and Background
Perhaps no other area in the national lakeshore will take you through as many diverse habitats in a short trail. Begin your habitat adventure by following the trail located in the southeast corner of the parking lot through the foredune habitat. Foredunes contain many pioneer plants such as marram and little bluestem grasses and cottonwood trees. These plants are specially adapted to live in the dunes where moving sand sometimes partially buries or uncovers plant stems and roots. Although those grasses may seem hearty, they may die when stepped upon. Able to withstand battering by sand and wind, grasses will eventually succumb to the shade of taller plants providing the necessary soil for the oak forest that lies ahead.
 

Nearby Hikes
Great Marsh
Mount Baldy
Glenwood Dunes

Click
here for a list of all hiking trails in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
 

Photos
 
Overlooking the Great Marsh
Overlooking the Great Marsh from the Dune Ridge trail.
 
Sunrise over the Great Marsh
Sunrise over the Great Marsh
 
Dune Ridge Trail
Sunlight through the trees on the Dune Ridge trail.

Last updated: December 26, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304

Phone:

(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

Contact Us