because of the large number of people signed up for this event, and that there are people on the waiting list, please do cancel on this site if you decide you won't be coming.
a chance of showers has been added to Saturday's weather report--make sure to check the forecast before setting out tomorrow, and have the right clothing and equipment.
we invite you to a day hike at
Tolleston Dunes & West Beach trails
in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Saturday, April 6, starting at 11 AM
length of hike about 5 miles,
first half will involve some moderate climbs,
second half, mostly level
chance to shortcut to 3 miles
dear hiking friends--
This is a hike that we enjoyed last year. We will meet on Saturday at 11:00 at the Tolleston Dunes (formerly named the Inland Marsh) trailhead on route 12 in Ogden Dunes (directions below), and move some cars to the West Beach Visitor Center. we will then hike the approximately 3 miles of the Tolleston Dunes trail. the trail starts modestly on flat ground, and through the Inland Marsh, but later climbs to a ridge with some nice views, and we will make our lunch stop at a scenic blowout high above the surrounding plain. when we arrive back at the parking lot, anyone who wishes to can stop at that point (as long as they made sure their car was in this lot). The rest of us will cross US 12, and walk into Ogden Dunes on Hillcrest rd.
At this point we will hike the interesting Solar Trail, showing the relative distances of the planets in our solar system from the sun. we will continue on the Long Lake trail and West Beach trails, and drive back to the Inland Marsh parking lot.
Be sure to bring along a lunch which we will eat on the trail, plus enough water (one quart minimum). There will be no water at the Inland Marsh parking lot, so be sure to bring water with you. The Tolleston Dune lot has porta-potties, but they may be removed for the winter.
we will do something a little different for dinner too. We will eat at Islamarada Fish Company http://restaurants.basspro.com/fishcompany/Portage/ , located inside the Bass Pro sporting goods mega-store, with a good selection of fish, seafood, and other items, and a nice ambiance. I recommend the alligator, yum yum.
This is a pretty cool store just to walk around in, with a giant aquarium, and a life-sized nature diorama, and if you feel like shopping afterwards, we’ll be right there. please let me know if you plan to come.
a few suggestions to make things run more smoothly 1) print out the announcement, or at least the directions ahead of time and bring it with you in your car if you are driving or navigating--I have frequently been delayed from arriving on time myself because I'm giving directions over the phone 2) bring enough cash to cover your meal if you come to dinner: restaurants usually don't like splitting up credit card charges, and it just delays and complicates the process of paying the bill 3) if you are going to be late, be sure to call. If you will be a little late, we will usually wait for you. If you're going to be more than about 15-20 minutes late, I will tell you how to meet us farther down the trail so everyone else doesn't have to wait.
hope to see you there,
directions: from Chicago & north suburbs: (driving time from downtown is about 1 hour) follow I-90 (Kennedy-Dan Ryan) east; at exit 59A, be sure to follow signs to " Chicago Skyway/Indiana Toll road"); the Skyway will turn into the Indiana Toll rd at the state line: tolls can be paid with I-pass or cash; exit at I-90 exit 17, onto US 12 east, continue on US 12 several miles past County Line rd (flashing red light): pull into the "Tolleston Dune (or “Inland Marsh”) parking lot; try to arrive by 11:00; we will move some cars, wait till 11:30, then depart on foot.
from northwest, west, or south suburbs: follow I-94 east into Indiana; at exit 12, exit north onto I-65, continue on I-65 north 2 miles till it ends, then take US 12 east, continue on US 12 several miles past County Line rd (flashing red light): pull into the "Tolleston Dune (or “Inland Marsh”) parking lot; try to arrive by 11:00; we will move some cars, wait till 11:30, then depart on foot.
by the South Shore line: get the South Shore at the Metra Electric stations at Randolph (8:40 AM), Van Buren, Roosevelt rd, Hyde Park, etc; take the train to the Portage/Ogden Dunes station; train arrives at 9:54. It is an easy walk from the train station to the Tolleston Dune (or “Inland Marsh”) parking lot. Just walk to US 12, turn right (west) and the parking lot will be a few blocks ahead on the left, or you can let me know beforehand if you're taking the train—and I will pick you up shortly before 11:00 and take you to the trailhead; see the website below for trains returning to Chicago; you also may be able to get a ride back to the city from someone else.
here is the South Shore website: http://www.nictd.com/
directions from parking lots to Islamorada: go east on US 12 to IN 249, turn right, continue a couple miles to Ameriplex dr, turn left, continue a few hundred ft to Daniel Burnham dr, turn right, park at Bass Pro, meet at the entrance to Islamorada restaurant inside the store.