1966 Hiking Challenge: Pinhook Bog

1966 Hiking Challenge Pinhook Bog Trail Banner

Beyond Lake Michigan’s oldest sand dunes lies the Valparaiso Moraine: a belt of rolling hills that stretches for hundreds of miles between southern Wisconsin and southern Michigan. This colossal landform marks the extent of the last glaciation and was left by the same continental glacier that formed today’s Great Lakes. As the glacier melted northward, it dropped an enormous block of ice in this area. The ice’s massive weight left a depression in the moraine that filled with water. Over thousands of years, the water’s surface became covered with a mat of floating vegetation, forming an acidic wetland known as a bog.

  • The Pinhook Bog Upland Trail brings visitors into the peaceful moraine-country woodland that surrounds the peaty wetland. Take a stroll through serenity and admire the massive oak, pine, beech, and maple trees rooted in the heavy clay soil. Listen to the swaying branches and their whispering leaves, and you may hear the soothing song of the wood thrush. In fall, enjoy a parade of dazzling autumn colors as you catch glimpses of the bog below.
  • Due to its sensitivity, the Pinhook Bog Trail has Restricted Access and is only available on ranger-led tours. As you step off the moraine and onto the floating boardwalk, you leave behind solid ground for a wetland habitat that is as rare as it is fascinating. Growing from the brown, tannin-rich water are sphagnum mosses, which form the base of the floating mat of live plants. Specialized species like the carnivorous sundew and the elegant pink lady slipper grow alongside black huckleberry, soft tamarack and lofty white pine.

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 meets at the Pinhook Bog parking lot and is scheduled for Saturday, May 25th at 8:00 AM.

Be Advised: Visitors are encouraged to bring knee-boots for the ranger-led hike on the Bog Trail. The bog's unusually high water level has flooded a short section of boardwalk that is under approximately 8 inches of water.

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. Please check our calendar for upcoming ranger-led programs at Pinhook Bog.

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
  • Pets are prohibited from the Pinhook Bog Trail. Please leave your pets at home for this hike!

Getting There

Trailhead Parking Lot

946 North Wozniak Road, LaPorte, IN 46360

Trailhead GPS Coordinates

41.621214, -86.850227 (Decimal Degrees)

Need to Know

  • The Upland Trail and parking lot are open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm. The Bog Trail has Restricted Access. The bog is only open during ranger-led programs. Additional program dates and times can be obtained by calling the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at (219) 395-1882. Information can also be found on the park's website calendar and Facebook page.
  • Passes are required.
  • Hike Length – 3 miles [Upland Trail: 2.1 miles. Bog Trail: 0.9 miles]
  • Hike Time – 2.5 hours [Upland Trail: 1.5 hours. Bog Trail: 1 hour]
  • Difficulty – Easy to moderate with some elevation change.
  • Trail Surface – Upland Trail: Packed dirt. Trail can be very wet and muddy. Bog Trail: Packed dirt with a section of floating boardwalk that submerges when walked on. Wear waterproof boots.
  • Facilities – Seasonal porta potty. No potable water.
  • Pets – Upland Trail: Permitted on a leash (6’ or shorter). Bog Trail: Prohibited for habitat protection.
  • Prohibited – Bicycles and motorized vehicles.
  • Prohibited – Littering, hunting, and removing plants.
  • Hiking off the boardwalk on the Bog Trail is strictly prohibited.
  • There are two picnic tables at the parking lot.
  • The parking lot is paved.
Pinhook Bog 1966 Challenge Trial Map
Ranger-led: Hike the bog trail, including the boardwalk, then hike the Upland Trail.
No Ranger: Hike only the Upland Trail.

Last updated: May 23, 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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