1966 Hiking Challenge: Miller Woods (Paul H. Douglas Trail)

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With a unique pattern of alternating sand ridges and lush wetlands, Miller Woods is an enchanting landscape of diversity. Delight your senses as you wander through this globally-rare topography known as ridge and swale. The beach ridges near the parking area formed over 3,000 years ago when Lake Michigan’s waves roared here. Each ridge you cross on your way to the beach represents a younger shoreline, built by waves. Catch the crimson shimmer of a red-headed woodpecker on a black oak, or turquoise flash of a six-lined race runner lizard dashing across the hot sand.

The 1966 Hiking Challenge is comprised of 19 hikes that cover 66 miles of trail in the park- celebrating the park’s founding in 1966. The ranger-led hike for this trail met at the Paul H. Douglas Center's parking lot and was scheduled for Saturday, June 1st at 8:00 AM. Do not worry if you cannot make each of the 19 ranger-led hikes. A check-off sheet will be available at the Visitor Center or the the Paul H. Douglas Center for those who complete the hikes on their own.

REMINDER: Information found on this page is specific to the 1966 Hiking Challenge


  • Please visit Trail Safety for tips and reminders to ensure your adventure is both safe and enjoyable
  • Ranger-led hikes occur rain or shine and are only canceled in inclement weather such as high winds or thunderstorms when conditions are unsafe

Getting There

Trailhead Parking Lots
100 North Lake Street, Gary, IN 46403

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.606466, -87.268527 (Decimal Degrees)

Need to Know

  • Construction on Lake Street, detour may be required. Follow posted signage.
  • Hours – Open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.
  • Passes are required.
  • Hike Length – 3.4 miles (to the beach and back)
  • Hike Time – 2 hours.
  • Difficulty – Moderate; rolling topography with increasing elevation change nearer Lake Michigan.
  • Trail Surface – Packed dirt with some sections of loose sand. Be aware, trail conditions can change quickly due to high lake levels and storms.
  • Facilities – Year-round restrooms and potable water in the Paul H. Douglas Center during open hours.
  • Pets – Permitted on a leash (6' or shorter).
  • Prohibited – Littering and hunting.
  • Prohibited – Bicycles and motorized vehicles.
  • Prohibited – Removing plants, rocks, shells, and fossils.
  • Prohibited – Glass and fires on the beach.
  • Parking lot is paved and large enough for RVs and buses.
Paul H Douglas Trail Map 1966 Web
1966 Hiking Challenge: Miller Woods (Paul H. Douglas) Trail

Hike to the beach and back and loop the wetland.

Last updated: April 15, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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