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blue Long Lake Loop Trail


1.6 mile 2.6 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 87' 27 m
Descent: -74' -23 m
High: 652' 199 m
Low: 610' 186 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 7% (4°)


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Trail shared by Rafi Wilkinson

Great trail for birding and hiking through the dunes.

Rafi Wilkinson

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Parking and access open daily 8:00 am to 10:00 pm Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend and 8:00 am to 30 minutes after sunset the remainder of the year. There is a $6 per car expanded amenity parking fee collected from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. No bicycles or motorized vehicles allowed on the trail. Stay on the trail to protect fragile dunes and yourself. Pets are permitted on a leash (6' or shorter).


The Long Lake Trail (Loop 3) is a moderate trail that starts in an area that was sand mined in the 1920s. If you want to hike this loop by itself from the main trailhead, the total round-trip distance is 2.4 miles. You'll start and end the hike using a portion of the West Beach Trail.

The footing is mainly loose sand. This area is being restored as an oak savanna and is a great place to see prickly pear cactus. The trail follows along Long Lake and then heads into the dunes. There is a great view of long lake after the initial climb. After crossing the entrance road, the trail winds through the undulating dunes and then has a steep climb down an exposed dune to the picnic area.

The trail is not accessible to wheelchairs. However, there is a paved road from the parking lot to the bathhouse that offers views of Lake Michigan that is accessible to wheelchairs. The main parking lot has spots for 596 cars and is open year round.

There are restroom facilities and potable water available year round in the West Beach Contact Station. Seasonal showers, lockers and a beach (with lifeguards) are available in the summer.

Indiana Dunes National Park (formerly national lakeshore) was established to preserve portions of the Indiana Dunes and other areas of scenic, scientific, historic and recreational value. Up to two million annual visitors enjoy the park's 15,000 acres of wetlands, prairies, sand dunes, oak savannas, forests, and historic sites. The park's 15 miles of beaches hug the southern shore of Lake Michigan from Gary, IN, to Michigan City, IN. For more information, visit nps.gov/indu/index.htm or facebook.com/IndianaDunesNPS.

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Jul 13, 2019
Good sunrise views over long lake.
May 11, 2019
Alex Johnston

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