Winter at the Dunes [video by Rod J. Eckrich]


Witness the stark beauty of the Dunes as a winterscape

The Dunes pop during the summer. Shimmering sand, leafy trees, jaunty umbrellas, bronzed sunbathers, dogs jumping into the surf after a Frisbee.

Believe me when I tell you what’s more amazing is seeing the park dressed in winter apparel.

It occurred to me recently that I should check out the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore on a winter day. I’m glad I went. When I arrived, the snow-covered trees were more striking than the sun reflecting off of sand on a balmy day.

The Dunes are always a great place for filling up a day. You can take in the sight of the world’s fifth-largest lake or hike miles of trails.

Normally I begin my travels at West Beach in Gary’s Miller Beach section and wander toward the dunes and forested areas. I began to shoot footage around the first parking area that you can reach from the official entrance. With snow falling and the condition of the roads, I expected to be the sole adventurer, but there were a few others at the park.

I went further down the road and parked in a bigger lot. I was careful to not step outside of the trails. One of the most impressive spots is a set of stairs that winds its way through the dunes. Snow-covered sand made for much easier movement, and I really enjoyed trekking across the paths.

I spent the finale of my time there on the shore of West Beach, taking in nature’s grandeur.

Watching people walk their dogs or a couple hold hands in the distance and blend into the shoreline made me appreciate these visuals probably more than I ever would on a summer day.

The Dunes provide an escape into beauty year-round. There is a splendid multitude of parks and beaches to enjoy across the sprawling National Lakeshore.