Trail Run Project Logo

blue Trail 9

  4.8 ( 25 ) Favorite


3.6 mile 5.8 kilometer loop
99% Runnable


Ascent: 99' 30 m
Descent: -100' -31 m
High: 684' 209 m
Low: 606' 185 m


Avg Grade: 1% (1°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Rafi Wilkinson

Perhaps the best trail in Northwest Indiana with incredible views of Lake Michigan.

Rafi Wilkinson

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views

Pets permitted on a leash (6' or shorter). Swimming is permitted only at the Pavilion when lifeguards are present (Memorial Day through Labor Day).


This is the definitive trail in the dunes. It combines running through mature forests and along the top of a dune ridge overlooking Lake Michigan. The views are incredible. The gem of this trail is Beach House Blowout, a huge bowl of sand. The trail winds along its narrow edge affording views in every direction.

Need to Know

There is an entrance fee to the State Park. Everyday mid-April through mid-November. Weekends only in the winter. $7 per car for Indiana residents, $12 per car for out of state. $2 walk-in and bike fee.

Runner Notes

The trail surface is mainly loose sand with some sections of compacted dirt. Your shoes will get filled with sand.


Park at the Nature Center parking lot. The trailhead is well marked. The preferred route is to stay on Trail 9 for its entire length. At the base of Beach House Blowout, stay low (to the right) to run the loop in a counter-clockwise direction. This will keep you low through the forest on the way out.

At the farthest point, the trail will turn to the left and climb up the dune. Lake Michigan will come into view. The trail returns along the ridge line culminating at Big Beach House Blowout. The views and topography are incredible. The trail literally falls off the back out the blowout and returns to the Nature Center using the same trail.

History & Background

The Indiana Dunes State Park was established in 1925 and contains 2,182 acres of land. The park is home to the tallest sand dunes in the area and approach 200 feet in height. The park contains a diverse range of beach, forest, and wetland habitats. As a result, this is an incredible spot for birding. There are three miles of pristine beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Visit the State Park website for information on programs, camping, and other activities.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.


Rate This Featured Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Sep 18, 2018
Bill Schmelzer
ran 3 peak challenge (trail 8) > trail 7> trail 9. beautiful
Apr 7, 2018
Sarah Richardson
Beautiful trail overlooking the lake. A must do!

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 25 votes


  4.8 from 25 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Run Rankings


in Indiana


554 Views Last Month
10,919 Since Jan 29, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running