Pinhook Trail System

Pinhook Bog Trail
 


Getting There
Need to Know
Trail Map
Featured Hikes
Nearby Hikes
Photos

The Pinhook Trail System features two very different habitats. The Upland Trail highlights a rich beech and maple forest growing on top of a glacial moraine formed about 15,000 years ago. The Bog Trail leads to a bog in a depression in the moraine created when a large piece of ice broke off the melting glacier. The bog features an incredible habitat with unique plants.

Trail Features: Bog, Unique Plants, Wildflowers, Wildlife
Must See Gems: Pinhook Bog

 

Getting There
Trailhead Parking Lot
946 North Wozniak Road, LaPorte, IN 46360

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.621214, -86.850227 (Decimal Degrees)
 


Need to Know

Hours & Information

  • The Upland Trail is open daily from sunrise to 30 minutes past sunset and does not require a guided tour or advance approval to hike the trail.
  • The Bog Trail has Restricted Access. Access to the Bog Trail requires advance approval and accompaniment by authorized staff.There are ranger-led open houses on weekends in the summer. Open house dates and times can be obtained by calling the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center at (219) 395-1882. Open Houses are also listed in the park's newspaper The Singing Sands and on the park's website calendar.
  • Free (no access fee).
  • Hiking off the boardwalk while on the Bog Trail is strictly prohibited.
  • Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed.
  • Pets are permitted on a leash (6' or shorter).
  • Trail is not wheelchair accessible.
  • Trail surface is packed dirt.
  • No potable water.
  • Seasonal porta-potty from early May through early November.
  • There are two picnic tables at the parking lot.
  • The parking lot is open year round.
  • The parking lot is paved and holds 20 cars with one handicap spot.

Safety

  • Wear adequate footwear as the trail can be slippery and muddy.
  • Sections of the bog boardwalk can be submerged.
  • 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.
 
Pinhook Bog Trail Map
Pinhook Bog Trail Map
 


Featured Hikes
Bog Trail (Restricted Access)
0.9 miles, 44 feet of elevation gain, 2% average grade, 6% maximum grade
Average hiking time: 1 hour

This featured hike is an out and back trail. Starting at the parking lot trailhead, take the trail south as it winds downhill through the forest. At the edge of the bog the trail continues out onto floating boardwalk. Do not leave the boardwalk for your own safety and to prevent damage to this extremely rare ecosystem. At the end of the boardwalk, turn around and follow the same trail up the hill back to the parking lot.

Upland Trail (Open to the Public)
2.1 miles, 97 feet of elevation gain, 2% average grade, 4% maximum grade
Average hiking time: 1.5 hours

This featured hike is a lollipop shaped trail. Starting at the parking lot trailhead, take the trail east to the junction with the loop trail. The preferred direction is clockwise or to the left. The trail winds through mature beech and maple forest as you hike over the undulating moraine topology. There is a nice view of the bog near the south end of the loop. Upon returning to the loop junction, turn left and follow the trail back to the parking lot.

History and Background
Bogs like Pinhook are relics of our glacial past. Trapped in the pulverized clay and rock left behind by a melting glacier, the bog began as a kettle lake. Cut off from ground water, Pinhook's water gradually became acidic. Sphagnum moss, tolerant of acidic waters, formed floating mats that eventually supported carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and sundew, orchids like pink lady's slipper and ferns. Over time, blueberry and holly shrubs colonized this unique acidic bog, eventually giving way to larger trees like tamarack and red maple. Pinhook Bog is on the National Natural Landmark list.

 

Nearby Hikes
Heron Rookery
Great Marsh
Glenwood Dunes

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

Photos
 
Pinhook Bog Trail
The boardwalk leading out into Pinhook Bog.
 
Pinhook Bog Trail
Fully grown tamarack trees grow in the sphagnum moss floating on water!
 
Pinhook Bog Trail
Carnivorous sundew plants at Pinhook Bog.
 
Pinhook Bog Trail
A carnivorous pitcher plant at Pinhook Bog.
 
Pink lady's slipper orchids at Pinhook Bog.
Pink lady's slipper orchids at Pinhook Bog.
 
Japanese maple tree on the Pinhook Upland Trail.
Japanese maple tree on the Pinhook Upland Trail.
 
Secluded wetland on the Pinhook Upland trail.
Secluded wetland on the Pinhook Upland trail.
 
Towering tree on the Pinhook Upland trail.
Towering tree on the Pinhook Upland 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.

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