Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Touring Tuesday - Indiana Dunes

Entering Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
If you are looking for a biking vacation in Indiana at a place that looks nothing like the rest of the state, consider Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The original plan for the state of Indiana had the northern border below the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The boundary was moved a few miles north so that Indiana would have access to the Great Lakes like its neighbors. The national lakeshore has about 25 miles of shoreline, and includes the Indiana Dunes State Park.

There are several bike trails in the area:
All of these trails are paved except the Calumet Trail. I would advise against riding this trail, unless you just need it to get to Michigan City. There is no shade, there are power lines overhead, and it's next to a busy highway and railroad. The trail is in terrible shape and the only trees are to the north, blocking your view of Lake Michigan.

I do recommend riding on Lake Front Drive, which is about a 2.5 mile stretch of road along Lake Michigan in the town of Beverly Shores. There is little traffic and a beautiful view of the lake. It will take you past the Century of Progress Homes. These homes were part of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair before being transported by barge to Beverly Shores.

Other interesting sites in the area you might want to visit include:
Unfortunately, Mount Baldy, the tallest sand dune at 125 feet high, is still closed, except for ranger led hikes. It has been closed since a six year-old boy fell 11 feet into an unseen hole in 2013. The boy nearly died but has recovered fully. There was once a 200 foot high sand dune called the Hoosier Slide in the area, but it was hauled away to make glass.

Here's a video about cycling in the Indiana Dunes area:

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