A relaxing hike through a marsh noted for its long boardwalk, ferns, and early spring wildflowers.

Statistics

1 - 2

hrs

13

m

13

m

0

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Easy

Description

Paired with Trail 10, Trail 2 is debatably one of the most relaxing and scenic hikes in Indiana Dunes State Park.

This easy 3-mile hike through the marsh includes two boardwalks and a spectacular selection of early spring flowers and ferns.

The loop can be hiked in either direction and is relatively easy to follow thanks to markers located along the trail.

Thanks to the wide variety of habitats, "including beach, sand dunes, black oak forest, wooded wetlands, and a button-bush marsh," much of which is represented on this hike, Indiana Dunes has widely been referenced as "the birthplace of ecology." "Botanists from across the country enjoy studying the unusual collection of plant life," the park notes, and "it was here that Henry Cowles, known to many as the "father of ecology" did his landmark studies of succession in the early 1900s." To begin your hike, make your way to Wilson Shelter near the end of Wilson Road.

You could also park at the Nature Center or begin your hike from the campground if you are spending the night there.

Drinking water and restrooms are located throughout the state park and can be seen [on this detailed map](https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/dunes_trail.pdf). For a longer hike with endless views along the shores of Lake Michigan, consider [Trail 10](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2692803/trail-10) instead.

Parts of the loop are the same, but Trail 10 includes the addition of "Big Blowout," an area "where forests have been buried by sand and then, more recently, re-exposed by wind erosion." [Source](https://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/dunes_trail.pdf)