1966 Hiking Challenge: Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk

1966 Hiking Challenge Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Banner

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk is a prime place to view the ever-changing seasons along Lake Michigan and watch dramatic weather and clouds build over the lake. Its location provides convenient access to observe masses of migrating birds who travel along Lake Michigan's coasts. In the fall, tumultuous waters fueled by powerful gales crash into the shore. In the cold of winter, visitors can observe shelf ice that forms along the beach.

This paved trail takes you past the lakefront, beside Burns Waterway, and along dunes and wetlands. The site was formerly used by U.S. Steel as settling ponds for industrial byproduct and a sewage treatment facility. Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk opened in October of 2008 as a successful model of EPA Brownfield land remediation. The building was awarded LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council, reflecting the National Park Service's commitment to sustainable design.

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 Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk parking lot and was scheduled for Saturday, July 20th 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 Riverwalk Road, Portage, IN 46368

Trailhead GPS Coordinates
41.630994, -87.178383 (Decimal Degrees)

Need to Know

  • Hours – Open daily from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm; open at all times for those actively fishing
  • Passes are required
  • Hike Length – 1.5 miles
  • Hike Time – 1 hour
  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Trail Surface – Paved with some sections of boardwalk and one set of stairs. Be aware, trail conditions can change quickly due to high lake levels and storms.
  • Facilities – Year-round restrooms and potable water when the pavilion is open.
  • 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. No parking for RVs or buses.
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk 1966 Hiking Challenge Trail Map
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk 1966 Hiking Challenge Trail Map

Last updated: April 12, 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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