If you are looking for the best hiking trails in Northern Indiana, it is hard to go wrong with any of them. There’s so many different options that will suit your taste and preferences! You can choose from wooded paths or scenic views depending on what kind adventure calls out to you. And if Autumn color is your thing? Well then there really isn’t anything better than taking advantage of the fall months while they last by completing a trail before winter comes rumbling back into town again! There are so many beautiful hiking trails in Northern Indiana, you’ll want to take your time and enjoy the scenery. You can find a few hiking challenges too!
I’ve divided this post into 3 sections to make it easy to look for trails in your desired part of Northern Indiana: Northeast, North Central, and Northwest.
North East Indiana Hiking Trails
Ouabache State Park, Bluffton, IN
Pronounced “Wabash” .
13 miles of hiking trails ranging from 1 mile to 6 miles give you the option to choose your adventure. If you want to see it all, I suggest trail 5 ( 6miles), which will take you through almost all terrain types available.
While you’re there, check out the Bison exhibit
The Bloodroot Trail is a 13 mile hiking and biking trail located on Salamonie Lake near Andrews, Indiana. Though it can be completed as a long day hike, it’s also popular with backpackers. There’s a total of 6 campsites along the trail which are first come-first served.
Pokagon State Park, Angola, IN
Hell’s Point Challenge
This challenge is an 8.2 mile loop that leads you all over the state park. You’ll traverse wooded area, wetland, bridges, and a lookout tower that’s sure to test the strength of your legs. Autumn is a really great time to hike this one. The view of the colorful trees from the top of the lookout tower is gorgeous. Don’t forget to stop in to the visitor center to get your freebies for completing the trail!
North Central Indiana Hiking Trails
Bonneyville Mill County Park, Bristol, IN
Located in Bristol, Indiana, Bonneyville Mill is a serene area great for family hiking. Shorter trails through wooded areas can lead you to water, a wooden tower for great views over the woods, and rolling hills.
There’s quite a bit of wildlife, my kids love looking for frogs, and they’re abundant. We once found a puddle formed by the creek overflowing full of tadpoles too. Deer, rabbit, racoon, and even a few harmless water snakes have been spotted by them on the trails at Bonneyville.
France Park, Logansport
A hidden beauty for sure! This park is gorgeous and fun to hike. It’s one of my favorite hiking destinations in Northern Indiana. It’s also a great autumn or winter visit. Fiery leaves over the quarry or frozen waterfall, anyone?
There’s two sections of this park where you can hike, the quarry area and the wooded/waterfall area. You can hike up the cliffs around the quarry for views across the bright blue waters, trek through the woods along the water, and explore wherever you want to go.
On the waterfall side of the park, you can check out the falls from the bottom, then start your trek by crossing the bridge at the top of the falls. You’ll hike through woods, along a stream with more tiny waterfalls, and through fields.
North West Indiana Hiking Trails
Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park
Cowles Bog Trail
A variety of different habitats along this trail make it fun to explore. Swamps, ponds, marshes, beaches, and more keep your scenery changing as you make progress on the trail.
3 Dune Challenge
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, this one is for you! 552 vertical feet consisting of sand and stairs, Indiana Dunes says this hike is the equivalent to climbing 55 flights of stairs. Check out their page for more fun facts and info on hiking the 3 Dunes Challenge.
Great Marsh Trail
The short but wonderfully serene loop trail is great for birdwatchers and those who love to observe the lives of wetland wildlife. The trail starts in a gravel parking lot and leads you into the woods where you’ll twist and curve a bit until you come to a T in the trail. If you go left here, you’ll be lead to the Marsh Overlook, where a spectacular view of the marsh and, if you’re lucky, some of the many birds that like to hang out there.
After getting your fill of the marsh, head back toward the T and continue straight to finish the trail. This section of trail gives you some great views across large areas where you can see a lot of different vegetation and cattails.