Trail Conditions

What to Expect

You'll discover much more than just sand dunes as you hike through 14 distinct trail systems covering more than 50 miles of trails, and that's just the National Park!  

A wide variety of birding trails traverse the various habitats visited during the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival.  The month of May poses concern as trail conditions can change quickly, and areas along riparian corridors can become flooded.   

See below for the latest updates and notes from staff and volunteers on current trail conditions in key locations.

Current Conditions: (updated 5/9/23)

INDU Cowles Bog Trail 
Many volunteers and birders report that the Cowles Bog trail is great this year. The newer boardwalk continues to be a great spot for warblers. Virginia and Sora have been showing nicely as well recently. 

INDU Pinhook Bog Trail
The upland trails are generally fine, with a few muddy spots from the trailhead to the first fork in the trail (~.25 mi), and on the west portion of the loop. The lower, bog trail has only limited mud in one low point. 

INDU Mnoke Prairie/Lil Calumet River Trail
Trail in good condition. Exercise caution while hiking by Little Calumet River Trail from Howe Rd to bridge. Certain areas prescribed burn four weeks ago. The open prairie and savanna edges are good for Red-headed Woodpeckers. 

INDU Dunes Heron Rookery Trail 
As of 4/13/22 birders reported no issues, with only soft spots in traditional flooding locations along the trail.  Multiple Yellow-throated Warblers could be heard singing. 

Indiana Dunes State Park Trail 8 Boardwalk
The new Trail 8 boardwalk at the Wilson Shelter is complete and open.  Though no interpretive panels or benches are in place yet. There are newer primitive toilets at the Wilson Shelter parking lot (5/1/23).

Beverly Shores Great Marsh Trail
Dry conditions this spring have allowed this trail to remain completely dry thus far this spring (5/2/23)

Brincka Cross Gardens Trail
Trail is crushed limestone and in good shape throughout.  The various conifer plantings have been hosting reliable horn tootin' from Red-breasted Nuthatches.

West Beach/Long Lake Trails
There is a current trail closure for a section of the Long Lake Trail.
Temporary Closure: Under the authority of 36 CFR 1.5, the Superintendent has closed a portion of the Long Lake Trail due to the sighting of a coyote protecting its den. Due to it being pupping season, this closure is necessary for the maintenance of public health and safety.