The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In Indiana

Trail 10
Indiana Dunes State Park • Chesterton

After visiting Yosemite in 1900 Indiana businessman Richard Lieber became a leading cheerleader for conservation, thrusting the Hoosier State to the forefront of creating state parks. Indiana Dunes was protected in 1925, four decades before the national lake- shore that surrounds it.

Seaman is forced to study a sheet of regulations to figure out where he is allowed in the national park next door but the only thing to know in Indiana Dunes State Park is not to go on the small swimming beach. Beyond that, the remaining 2,182 acres are all tail-friendly.

The star at the state park is Mount Tom, a 192-foot vegetation-covered sand dune that is the tallest in Indiana. A long wooden staircase (Trail 4) leads to the summit and views across Lake Michigan to the Chicago skyline. The descent (Trail 8) sends Seaman hurtling down the sand pile.

Trail 10 is a long 5.5-mile horseshoe trail that connects to either end of the route over Mount Tom. Half the canine hike rolls easily through a mixed-pine and hardwood forest and the other half follows the long, deserted beach.Most of the way the trail mixes sand and dirt but there are also stretches of loose sand. Highlights include the Big Blowout where wind has blown away sand from dead stumps after burying the trees alive. The preferred direction for this canine hike is counter-clockwise as this leaves the beach walk for the end; you can avoid the hard climb over Mount Tom if so desired.

HIKING TIME: 3-4 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


Hiking With Your Dog In Indiana