Trails & Biking in Miller Beach, Gary Indiana

The Miller Beach neighborhood of Gary, Indiana sits at the heart of over 20 miles of interconnected trails, linking the Miller South Shore station, the Paul H. Douglas Center (the west visitors center of Indiana Dunes National Park), as well as downtown shops and restaurants.  

Take the Chanute trail and experience a paved path linking Lake Street Beach to the Historic Gary Aquatorium in Marquette Park, where the beaches, playgrounds, and dunes overlooking the Chicago skyline create the perfect family picnic spot.  

Bike east on the Marquette Greenway trail to connect to other places within Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana Dunes State Park, and other towns in Northwest Indiana.

The Aetna neighborhood of Gary, Indiana borders the Miller Beach neighborhood on the south of Melton Road (Highway 20) and is also shown on this map.  The Glen Ryan section of the Miller Beach neighborhood is also shown and connected on this map at Glen Ryan Park/Pavilion.

Trail Highlights:

Refer to the map for locations (scroll down)

Bayless Dune Trail: Sandy. Scenic dune hike through a wooded areas, dunes and blow outs marked with interpretive signage. Located at 8975-9047 Indian Boundary, Gary, IN. This Shirley Heinz Preserve is in the southeast residential section of the Miller Beach neighborhood.

Beachfront Trail: Sandy.  Five miles plus of beautiful Lake Michigan beaches are open year round for your walking pleasure, starting east at the north end of the Paul H. Douglas Trail in the national park, thru Lake Street Beach, Marquette Park and stretching across the entire Miller Beach neighborhood.  Continue walking east into the West Beach section of the national park on the east side of the Miller Beach neighborhood.  Beach trails at the end of streets allow for easy walking access .  Public parking at key points as shown on the map.

Chanute Trail: Paved. Extensives views of wetlands and open dunes, with peeks of Lake Michigan.  Sandy paths off of the paved trail lead to the beach. Runs parallel to the Lake Michigan shoreline connecting Lake Street Beach to Marquette Park and beach. The trailhead /entry point is located at the east end of Lake Street Beach parking lot.  The second trailhead/ entry point is located at the west end of the Marquette Park parking lot. Suitable for people with disabilities or families with strollers.

Lake Street Cycle Track: Paved. Starts in downtown Miller Beach on Lake Street, one block north of the Miller South Shore train station.  Bike lane runs north thru downtown and connects to the national park’s Paul H. Douglas Center. Suitable for people with disabilities or families with strollers.  Continue north, on the street for another few minutes to  reach Lake Street Beach (Lake Michigan).

Marquette Greenway Trail: Hard Pack/ Gravel. Beautiful views of Long Lake, scenic wetlands with beaver lodges, oak savannas, and forested dunes. Connects to national park sections of Miller Woods and West Beach and via a swath of park land through the Miller Beach neighborhood. Trail connections at Grand Avenue and Montgomery Streets about 1/2 mile south of the lake. (Note: between Grand Avenue to the Paul H. Douglas Center parking lot is good for hiking but a little too rough for biking at this time.  (The section west of Lake Street is rough gravel and not suitable for bicycling.)

Marquette Park Loop: Paved. 1 1/2 mile.  Bike path circling Marquette Park with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan, past historic buildings and thru an oak savanna. Passes next to the kayak launch on the Calumet Lagoon. Connects to the Chanute Trail thru the west end of the Marquette Park parking lot. This Indiana Audubon birding festival destination passes along the southern most point of Lake Michigan. Indiana Birding Trail site at the eastern concession stand area on the lakefront. Listed as an Important Birding Area by the Audubon Society.

Nelson Algren/Simone de Beauvoir Trail: Paved. Short connection to Marquette Park Pavilion from east end of Forest Avenue. Oak savanna & views of the Calumet Lagoon.  Begins adjacent to Nelson Algren former home on the lagoon at the end of Forest Avenue. Suitable for people with disabilities or families with strollers.

Paul H. Douglas Trail : Sandy. World famous hike through Miller Woods at the Paul H Douglas Center, the western visitor center for the  Indiana Dunes National Park.  Rare ecosystems, lagoon views, and sand dunes. Hike thru the dunes and oak savannas to Lake Michigan. Great hike for birders and native plant enthusiasts. Indiana Audubon birding festival destination and listed as an Important Birding Area by the Audubon Society.

Paul H. Douglas Trail ADA loop:  Enter by going thru the Douglas Center.  Gorgeous views and trails through wooded areas with expansive view to interdunal ponds.  Lovely picnic area with grills.  Includes a boardwalk over a beautiful interdunal pond to observe wildlife. Suitable for people with disabilities or families with strollers.

West Beach (3 trails): Sandy & boardwalks. The world famous Succession Trail (where the Theory of Succession was developed) starts at the beach and winds through dunes, pines, deciduous forest, on a boardwalk and up many stairs to a scenic dune top  featuring panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, Lake Michigan, and the Indiana Dunes.  The Long Lake Trail, and West Beach Trails wind past wetlands and through dunes. Listed as an Important Birding Area by the Audubon Society.

Hike and Bike Trail Map