60 Hikes within 60 miles Chicago
This guidebook by the author of Easy Hikes Chicago presents a wide variety of hikes in Illinois, Indiana, southern Wisconsin, and southwest Michigan. The hikes are organized geographically, with separate sections on Cook County, DuPage County and destinations west, North Chicagoland and Wisconsin, Northwest Indiana and environs, and South Chicagoland and the Illinois River valley. The complete list of hikes is available on the author's website. Each hike is described in detail, with a map and a profile graph showing changes in elevation, and a black & white photo. You can see sample chapters online. (More photos, in color, of most hikes are available on the author's website.)
A nice feature of the book is its 20 lists of hikes for particular purposes: good hikes for young children, hikes for seasonal wildflower viewing, river hikes, good hikes for runners, good hikes for cross-country skiers, accessible by public transportation, and more.
Some hikes, reasonably close to Kalamazoo
1. Warren Dunes State Park Loop
"One of the most beautiful spots on Lake Michigan's southern shore, Warren Dunes is a perfect place to combine a trip to the beach with a ramble through rugged wooded dunes and bottomland forest."
2. Indiana Dunes State Park Loop: Dune Ridge Loop
"Indiana Dunes is one of the most beautiful and dramatic settings in the Chicago region. This hike is especially notable for its variety: after hiking through forest, wetland, and wooded dunes, you'll pass over spectacular sand dunes bordering the shoreline."
3. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Ly-co-ki-we Hike
"The name "Ly-co-ki-we"-- which means "sandy ground" in the Miami Indian language-- offers an inkling of what you'll encounter on this trail. Although you won't be climbing any monstrous sand dune, you will follow a couple of gentle dune ridges as they gradually rise and fall. Like other sandy ridges in the area, these mild slopes mark the shores of a once larger version of Lake Michigan."
4. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Cowles Bog Trail
"One of the more famous spots at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Cowles Bog is well known for its beauty and historical significance in the filed of environmental science."
5. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: West Beach Loop
"It's not just the high dunes and a long sandy beach that makes hiking at West Beach such a satisfying experience. What makes this hike so engaging is how the landscape and plants magically transform every half mile or so."
6. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Bailly/Chelberg Hike
"Get a glimpse of early settlement life in northwestern Indiana by touring the homesteads of two frontier families. You'll also see wooded ravines, rich bottomland forest that grows beside the Little Calumet River, and a curious old cemetery."
7. Oak Ridge Prairie Loop
"Oak Ridge County Park allows visitors to sample a variety of appealing environments within a fairly small area. During the hike, the landscape moves from lakeshore to woodland to prairie to marshland.
between Griffith & Merillville, IN
8.Deep River Hike
"This hike takes you along the edge of the Deep River as it meanders through a large, diverse hardwood forest. At some point during your visit, stop in at the gristmill that was first built next to the river in 1837."
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