Family Friendly

Long Lake Trail @ Indiana Dunes National Park

IN Dunes Natl Park photo - Blue Heron and ducks located at Long Lake
2.2 ml
376 North County Line Road, Gary, IN 46403

West Beach offers a great combination of hiking and relaxing at the beach. The trails are varied and encompass many habitats. After hiking, relax and swim at the beach.

Long Lake Loop Trail (Loop 3) is the final section of the hiking trail loops at West Beach. This section is moderate in difficulty. The trail follows along Long Lake and then heads into the dunes. There is a great view of Long Lake after the initial climb. After crossing the entrance road, the trail winds through the undulating dunes and then has a steep descent into the picnic area and back to the parking lot.

  • Hours – Open daily from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm Central Time.
  • Passes are required.
  • Hike Length – all 3-loops: 3.4 miles. Dune Succession – (Loop 1): 0.9 miles. West Beach (Loop 2): 1.2 miles. Long Lake (Loop 3): 2.2 miles.
  • Hike Time – 45 minutes to 2.5 hours.
  • Difficulty – Easy to moderate with some steep grades on the Dunes Succession (270+ stairs) and Long Lake loops.
  • Pets are permitted on a leash (6' or shorter). They are prohibited in the lifeguard swimming area in the summer.
  • Seasonal showers, lockers and a beach with lifeguards are available from the Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend. 
  • Parking, picnic tables and restrooms are available near the trailheads. 


  • Please stay on the trail and respect closed area signs. Going off trail damages fragile habitat.
  • Ticks are present year-round. Take precautionary measures to prevent bites.
  • Poison ivy can be present on the edges of the trail.
  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • In case of an emergency or to report a crime, call 1-800-PARK-TIP.


  • Trails are not wheelchair accessible. The walkway to the bathhouse and beach is wheelchair accessible as are two of the picnic shelters.

Photo from Indiana Dunes National Park

Hiking Trail