As springtime descends on Indiana, outdoor activities like hiking start to fill our free time. If you’re on the lookout for a mix of beginner and advanced trails, you’re in luck. We’ve put together this list of the five best hiking spots in the Chesterton area just for you.
1. Coffee Creek Loop
Are you in the mood for a leisurely stroll on a scenic trail or a place for a fun first date? Try the Coffee Creek loop. Both the short and long paths are easy to navigate through the woods. Most of the track is flat, just watch out for the occasional muddy areas in spring. This path offers indoor bathrooms that are open 24 hours, and you might even spot a deer along the way.
2. Trail 9 and 10 Loop
One of the most popular hikes in the dunes area, trails 9 and 10 offer scenic views of the lake and a challenging climb for runners. Explore the diverse area that includes habitats from black oaks and pines to dune grass and water that flows along the boardwalk. Spring’s warm weather ushers in a variety of lovely flowers as well as bugs, so load up with insect repellant when traversing the wooded areas.
3. Cowles Bog Trail
Another challenging local hike is the Cowles Bog Trail that runs down to and back up Lake Michigan’s beach area, with a few steep, sandy dune climbs that offer an intense workout. Along with the woods, you’ll encounter a swamp that’s loaded with delightful critters like frogs and waterfowl.
4. Imagination Glen
When you only have time for a quick escape, yet you still want a heart-pumping experience, head over to the Imagination Glen trail. While this track is designed for mountain biking, it’s also an excellent choice for a hike, with plenty of turns and changes in elevation.
Most of this trail’s surface is packed dirt, with the occasional bit of sand, and a boardwalk near the water for added interest. Locals recommend using the AllTrails app, as this path can be a bit confusing to follow.
5. Little Calumet River Trail Loop
If you want a bit of history with your hike, visit the Little Calumet River Trail Loop. A highly recommended adventure with a variety of settings on one trail, it’s an easy hike across mostly flat, gravel-paved ground.
This trail is ideal for beginners and families with young children. It’s an outstanding way to build endurance while enjoying the outdoors. While out on the loop, you might catch a glimpse of the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly.
Watch out for low spots that may be subject to flooding and mud. There’s also nowhere to sit and rest on this loop, although it does offer clean bathrooms in two train stations along the way.
As the weather in Omaha starts to warm up, grab your boots and embark on a local hike. With a variety of terrain and endless miles of trails, you won’t be disappointed with your options to roam.