Get Directions to WEST Trailhead of Heron Rookery Trail in Indiana Dunes National Park
(WEST END of trail is best spot to view flowers. Click here to visit EAST Trailhead.)
Follows the banks of the Little Calumet River for, quite possibly, the best place in Indiana Dunes National Park for spring wildflowers.
- Glorious woodland full of spring ephemerals including bloodroot, hepatica, wild ginger, Virginia bluebells, Solomons’ seal, phlox, maypple, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and great white trillium
- Little Calumet River
- May: Great white trillium in the woodland
Best Times to Visit:
- Spring for the woodland wildflowers
- Fall colors
Access & Parking: There are two parking lots:
- Main (East Trailhead with more parking spots than the west) Lot: 1336 North County Road 600E, Michigan City, IN 46360
- GPS Coordinates: 41.627043, -86.952446 (Decimal Degrees)
- Alternate (West and best Trailhead, but small parking lot) Lot: 1301 North County Road 450E, Chesterton, IN 46304
- GPS Coordinates: 41.622502, -86.980227 (Decimal Degrees)
Restrooms: No restrooms or potable water
Mike’s Thoughts: This preserve is not sandy like much of Indiana Dunes National Park and, therefore, offers a different array of wildflowers that you’d often see farther from Lake Michigan.
- There is no longer a heron rookery at this site. The birds have moved on to nest in other areas.
- Not to be confused with nearby Indiana Dunes State Park, which charges an entrance fee, Indiana Dunes National Park is free to the public and offers a wide array of high-quality habitats. The national park 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 Heron Rookery Trail from these websites: