“A true remnant of the last ice age! Pinhook Bog is incredible with rare and unique plants.”
— Rafi Wilkinson
Wildflowers · Wildlife
Restricted Access. Access to the Bog Trail requires advance approval and accompaniment by authorized staff. There are ranger-led open houses on weekends in the summer. Open house dates and times can be obtained by calling the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center at (219) 395-1882. Open Houses are also listed in the park's newspaper "The Singing Sands" and on the park's website calendar.
Please note that the Pinhook Bog
Upland Trail is open year round without restricted access.
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. The trail is not wheelchair accessible. There is a seasonal porta-potty from early May through early November, but no 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.
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
is on the National Natural Landmark list.
The national lakeshore was established in 1966 to preserve for the educational, inspirational, and recreational use of the public, certain portions of the Indiana Dunes and other areas of scenic, scientific, and historic interest and recreational value in the state of Indiana. About two million annual visitors enjoy the parks 15,000 acres of wetlands, prairies, sand dunes, oak savannas, forests, and historic sites. The parks beach hugs the southern shore of Lake Michigan from Gary, IN, to Michigan City, IN. For more information, visitnps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/…