Gary, IN: Shoreline to Ridge Hollow Loop

Loop 5.7 miles into shaded hollows and up the highest dunes on Lake Michigan's southern shore in Indiana Dunes State Park.
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Loop 5.7 miles into shaded hollows and up the highest dunes on Lake Michigan's southern shore in Indiana Dunes State Park.

Mapped by Andrew Matranga

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 7.8

Waypoints

IDL001

Location: 41.6625099182129, -87.0628433227539

Head NNE along beach, Indiana's largest undeveloped shoreline

IDL002

Location: 41.6703796386719, -87.0400314331055

At Beach House Blowout (an amphitheater of eroded sand), go SE onto user trail; traverse dune to Trail #9. Turn L; head into marram grass, then onto dunes

IDL003

Location: 41.673900604248, -87.0290145874024

Straight through cottonwoods to Furnessville Blowout, R @ 3-way; stay on Trail #9 along dune?s edge

IDL004

Location: 41.6734504699707, -87.0267868041992

R @ 3-way; descend into hollow sculpted by glaciers and lake wind

IDL005

Location: 41.6687660217285, -87.031867980957

R @ Y. Stay on Trail #9 by dunes left by glacier 14,000 years ago

IDL006

Location: 41.6650314331055, -87.0448837280274

Turn R, staying on #9; head S in mixed hardwoods

IDL007

Location: 41.6602172851562, -87.0476531982422

R @ T into northern jack pines along hard-packed path

IDL008

Location: 41.6595001220703, -87.0481643676758

R onto Trail #8 toward Mt. Jackson visible through thinning trees

IDL009

Location: 41.6613998413086, -87.0508804321289

R @ Y continuing on #8, head uphill on wide-sand alley toward Mt. Jackson's sandy crest

IDL010

Location: 41.6625671386719, -87.0503845214844

Mt. Jackson (176 ft.); views of Tremont and Lake Michigan through trees; continue N

IDL011

Location: 41.6641998291016, -87.0527801513672

Steep incline onto Mt. Holden; skyline views to W. Descend blowout; head W on .3-mi. side trip to 192-ft. Mt. Tom

IDL012

Location: 41.6628379821777, -87.0563735961914

Mt. Tom, park high point; return to WPT 11, descend toward lake

IDL013

Location: 41.6659507751465, -87.0542526245117

L @ windswept lakeshore; backtrack to car

Trail above Lake Michigan

Location: 41.6703300476074, -87.0369644165039

The azure waters as seen from the dunes. ©Regina Matranga

Mt. Jackson

Location: 41.6623649597168, -87.0494155883789

Looking south over Tremont from the sandy crest of Mt. Jackson (176 ft.) ©Regina Matranga

Sandy Path

Location: 41.6653022766113, -87.0533599853516

Enjoy the views before descent back to shoreline. ©Regina Matranga

Mt. Holden

Location: 41.665225982666, -87.0528182983398

Beach views through trees from Mt. Holden (184 ft.) benchmark. ©Regina Matranga

Dunes at Sunset

Location: 41.6651496887207, -87.0574569702148

Waning streaks of daylight color the sky over Lake Michigan. ©Regina Matranga

Lakeshore at Dusk

Location: 41.664608001709, -87.0596237182617

The tide laps against the beaches of Indiana Dunes State Park. ©Regina Matranga