The best outdoor experience in the park. Under the open canopy of the black oak savanna, experience acrobatic ferns, picturesque wetlands, and over high dunes that lead to the wonderful expanse of shoreline.
- Fen, black oak savanna, high dunes, and beach
- Late September and October: Experience the kaleidoscope of color as black oaks, sassafras, mulberry, ferns, everything from your feet on upward celebrate the colors of the season.
Best Times to Visit:
- Fall for the changing colors
Mike’s Thoughts: I love ferns here, especially when they’re wearing their fall colors. Hiking to beach can be a little bit strenuous at the very end of the trail, but the work is all worth it when the savanna opens to and expanse of windblown marram grass and the blue lake beyond.
- To find the trailhead, park in the official lot, walk back down the driveway, and cross the road to where the path begins.
- Not to be confused with nearby Indiana Dunes State Park, which charges an entrance fee, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is free to the public and offers a wide array of high-quality habitats. The park, which is part of the National Park Service, spreads out along fifteen miles of Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline and comprises 15,000 acres of habitats ranging from wetlands to dunes.
Learn more about Cowles Bog Trail from these websites:
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