Day 127: Sand Dunes and Bison In Indiana


time of year

Indiana Dunes National Park, Porter, IN. Cowles Bog Trail (4.7 mile loop, 200’ elevation). Very pretty trail through multiple environments. This area has been preserved for the biodiversity. Sandy areas make the climb a little harder but otherwise an easy trail through spring flowers and beautiful trees, along the beach and past wetlands. Some parts have beautiful, full sounding birdsong, some lots of traffic noise. This park weaves around industrial areas and a working harbor. The website says this trail will take 4h. If it took us a little over 1.5 hours and we stop a lot for pictures. Maybe if you stay at the beach?

Tollston Dunes Overlook. A short boardwalk to an overlook with informational signs.

Dunes Succession Trail (0.9, 75’ elevation). A boardwalk over the dunes with excellent views of the dunes and lake from the top. The beach area was very crowded and offers amenities like bathrooms, showers a food stand and some pretty, very tan, lifeguards in red bikinis.


difficulty: 6

Kankakee Sands – Bison Viewing, Morocco, IN.Kankakee Sands is 8,400 acres of prairies and wetlands, owned and managed by the Indiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy, which serve as a connecting piece between Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area, Beaver Lake Nature Preserve, Conrad Savanna Nature Preserve and TNC’s Conrad Station Savanna. Together these natural areas total over 20,000 acres of dry, mesic and wet sand prairies, sand blows, sedge meadows, wetlands, and black oak savannas in Northwest Indiana.

More than 600 species of native plants have been used to plant the prairies of Kankakee Sands and as a result, the land is teeming with native wildlife and is home to hundreds of species, many endangered. A herd of bison has been introduced as part of their ecosystem restoration program. The prairie is beautiful and we love seeing this work in action. The bison live in 1,100 acres and were too far from the viewing area to see more than a bunch of dark clumps in the distance. We did get see 1 loner by the fence on the road driving out. They have included informational signs about the fascinating history of the area they’re restoring at the viewing area trailhead. I hope they consider allowing night access for dark sky viewing.


This whole area is wide open, flat fields and long, straight roads, and we can see for miles. To us, it’s a unique part of the country that we’ve never seen before.

We pass through the largest stand of wind turbines we’ve ever seen, too many to count, spreading off into the distance all around us, 1000s and 1000s of acres of wind turbines. According to Google there are over 400 of them here along I65 with Indiana ranking 12th in the country for wind farming.

Fairfield Inn, Lafayette, IN

Price: $122/night

You May Also Find Interesting:

Have a question or comment?

%d bloggers like this: