Our home park is one of the newest to the list of National Parks. We visit The Dunes often to go to the beach or for a day hike. If you are local to northwest Indiana, then this is the place for you. Here are some season by season recommendations to help you enjoy the outdoors.
Spring: Heron Rookery Trail
This is a great trail to hike in the springtime. The forest floor is a carpet of spring ephemerals, which is a fancy word that refers to the plants that flower early in the spring before all the trees have new leaves. It will likely be muddy, so be prepared to get your shoes dirty.
Summer: Porter Beach
Our go-to beach in the summertime is Porter Beach. This beach is small, free, and allows floatation devices. The state park beach next door is the opposite for all three of those. Parking can be an issue, but we have found that going in the evening after work is perfect for us. We get there anytime after 4:00 and have no trouble finding a spot. We don't need sunscreen by that time, bring some dinner along, and stay to watch the sunset. It's a great way to enjoy the beach without the crowds.
Fall: Dune Ridge Trail
My daughters and I just hiked this trail the other day. The fall colors were so amazing that we went back the next day to bring my husband. It's got a bit of a climb to get to the top of the ridge, but a great view of the colors all around when you get up there. If you time your visit right you can enjoy an amazing wood fired pizza for lunch from the Rolling Stonebaker truck. It is parked in Beverly Shores sometimes. Check their FB page to find out when. https://www.facebook.com/therollingstonebaker/
Winter: Stay Home
My only recommendation for the winter is to stay home. Hibernate. It's cold here in the winter. I've gone sledding on the dunes before and climbing those dunes in the snow is no easy task. Once was enough for me. Some people enjoy going to see the shelf ice on the beaches as well. I enjoy sitting on my couch under a blanket watching the snow fall.
Visit publiclandstraveler on Instagram for more pics of our trips