Please read this IMPORTANT NOTE BEFORE requesting a hike:

 These are custom curated hikes for specific purposes and are ***SLOW*** under 2 MPH and sometimes under 1 MPH, with lots of 🛑STOPPING🛑 for talks and photos and videos (📱,📷, 📸, 🎥 ). If you want to just blast down the trail and you have a 🗯️HARDSHIP🗯️ each time we stop for the nature of nature then DO NOT COME with us! Don't put the pressure on us to hurry so you can go home and do your chores.  This is NOT FAST PACED TRAINING for a 5K or an ultra-marathon race. This is to see the nature of nature (🌿,🥀,🌲, 🌳,🪵,🍄, 🕷️, 🕸️,🦌, 🦝,🦊,🐦,🦅,🦃🪶,🦉,🪺,🪹,🕊️,🦆,🦢,🪨, 🐸, 🐟, ☁️, 🌨️, 🌧️, 🌩️, ⛅,⛈️,🌤️,🌥️,🌦️,😶‍🌫️, 🌫️, 🌈, 💨, ❄️, 🌊, 🌞,🌙, ⛺, 🔥, ...)! IF you are looking to go fast, quickly look elsewhere because we travel at the rate of the slowest and not the speed of the fastest. Come before hike begins. We can't wait to hike!



Some considerations for planning a hike: 

  1) RAIN - some don't like it . I have full rain gear and I do love it. 

  2) SNOW - one can't cross-country ski, snowshoe, or sled without it and if you do on plastic or sand it isn't as good.

  3) MUD - it is not fun trying to lead a group through mud when they don't have waterproof boots.

  4) WIND - if people aren't dressed warm enough or don't have safety glasses to protect you with 20+ MPH winds and sand. Wind can blow down complete trees or branches creating a deadly hazard.

  5) TRAIL CLOSURE - the National, State, Shirley Heinze, and County parks close trails sometimes without a possible warning

  6) EVENTS - parks will schedule events which could be done after a long term hike was planned

  7) DEER CULLS - often we don't know the dates months ahead of time 

  8) PRESCRIBED BURNS - parks often quickly do a prescribed burn during sudden good weather, so we don't know if they are doing one far out

  9) TRAIL MAINTENANCE - a park may close a trail to do maintenance on the trail 

10) HERBICIDES/PESTICIDES - a park may do this and limit trail use or expose others to glyphosate or other herbicides

11) PARKING LOT CLOSURES - if we can't legally park we can't hike. Often times parking lots fill up[ in the morning during popular months from May  thru October or on incredibly nice days anytime of the year.

12) BATHROOM CLOSURES - this deters many who need them (Wells run dry, water mains break, sewers backup, ...)

13) POLLUTION - pollution has closed beaches and adjacent parking lots 

14) ELECTRIC WHEELCHAIR -  The Visitor's Center at 1215 N State Road 49, Porter, Indiana 46304 can provide general information about which park locations have them or how they can be contacted.

15) INSECTS - if there is a ton of mosquitoes, like Cowles Bog oncd had, where I had to swipe at mosquitoes over 100 times,  or tics, or flies on the beach we can adjust the hiking trail or park location

16) LOTS OF RAIN - is good if hiking steep dunes like the Three Dune Challenge and other locations

17) FROZEN BEACH - if it is around 32F the beach surface can be very hard and hiking is easy to see the waves. When it is not frozen it requires 270% of the energy!

18) HIKING GROUP - often other hiker groups can join us spontaneously but trying to schedule far out is like herding cats because everyone is non-comm-ital

19) BOARDWALKS - can be closed down for repair or replacement as on Trail 2, the Little Calumet River Trail, and currently Trail 8 over the Great Marsh

20) BIRD MIGRATION - will lead us to certain locations to see certain species because people and apps tell us something is in the area today or tomorrow only!

21) MUSHROOMS - when they start appearing and with rarer ones we may only have a day or too

22) WILD FLOWERS - when they start appearing and with rarer ones we may only have a few days

23) PLANTS - when they start appearing with rarer ones we may only have a days to see them

24) PARK HIKES - often park hikes aren't published until close to the date to keep crowds down so a hike of mine scheduled in the future could be clobbered by theirs

25) PARK FEES - Every parking lot of the Indiana Dunes National Park requires a National Park pass EXCEPT for the Visitor Center and the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education (Which also functions as a visitor center on PARK information.) The Visitor's Center at 1215 N State Road 49, Porter, Indiana 46304 can provide the current fee schedule.

As of 1/1/2003 the Indiana Dunes State Park has a daily gate fee of $7 for Indiana Residents and $12 for out of state residents. The Visitor's Center at 1215 N State Road 49, Porter, Indiana 46304 can provide the current fee schedule. The fees for the State Park can only be paid at the State Park entrance.