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Pinhook Bog Trail



0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer out and back
99% Runnable


Ascent: 43' 13 m
Descent: -43' -13 m
High: 866' 264 m
Low: 823' 251 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 6% (3°)


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Trail shared by Rafi Wilkinson

A true remnant of the last ice age! Pinhook Bog is incredible with rare and unique plants.

Rafi Wilkinson

Features Wildflowers · Wildlife

Restricted access. Access requires advanced approval and accompaniment by authorized staff. There are free ranger-led hikes on weekends in the summer and at other times throughout the year. Tour details can be obtained at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center at (219) 395-1882. Call to confirm tour dates and times or check the park newspaper, The Singing Sands. You can also find tour dates on the park website


The Pinhook area features two very different habitats. The Pinhook Bog Upland Trail highlights a rich beech and maple forest growing on top of a glacial moraine formed about 15,000 years ago. The Bog Trail leads to a depression in the moraine created when a large piece of ice broke off the melting glacier.

Need to Know

Free parking is available daily, from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.potable water source. The parking lot is paved with 19 spaces. and one handicap spot. Pets are permitted on a leash (6' or shorter). Stay on the trail to protect wildlife and yourself. Running off the boardwalk is prohibited. Trail surface is mostly packed dirt with a section of floating boardwalk.

While the Pinhook Bog Trail is restricted to ranger-led hikes, The Pinhook Upland Trail is open daily to the public.


Bogs like Pinhook are relics of our glacial past. Trapped in the pulverized clay and rock left behind by a melting glacier, Pinhook Bog began as a kettle lake. Cut off from ground water, Pinhooks water gradually became acidic. Sphagnum moss, tolerant of acidic waters, formed floating mats that eventually supported carnivorous plants like pitcher plants and sundew, orchids like pink lady's slipper and ferns. Over time, blueberry and holly shrubs colonized this unique acidic bog, eventually giving way to larger trees like tamarack and red maple.

History & Background

Pinhook Bog is on the National Natural Landmark list.

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 or

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  4.0 from 4 votes
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1,034 Since Dec 17, 2015



Pink Lady's Slipper Orchids at Pinhook Bog.
Jun 1, 2016 near Trail C…, IN
Pinhook Bog! The sphagnum moss is so thick that it supports full grown trees. The moss is floating on top of water. Amazing.
Jan 13, 2016 near Trail C…, IN
Pitcher plant at Pinhook Bog.
Jan 13, 2016 near Trail C…, IN
Sundew plants at Pinhook Bog.
Jan 13, 2016 near Trail C…, IN