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The Calumet Trail traverses the south side of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a unique ecosystem of forest, marsh, dunes and beach along Lake Michigan. This dirt and crushed limestone path stretches between two interesting natural features: the Cowles Bog, an 8,000 year-old marsh, and Mount Baldy, a 123-foot-tall sand dune.
The route parallels the South Shore Rail Line, which carries passengers from Chicago to South Bend, and passes through residential and commercial areas, including a unique and unexpected sight: the Bailly Power Generator.
At its western end, the trail connects with the Porter Brickyard Trail, a mostly on-route section that traverse the park north-south. Where the Calumet Trail passes the Dune Park station of the South Shore Line, it also connects with the Dunes Kanakee Trail, which takes trail users to Porter Beach.
At the trail's western endpoint, there is parking along N Mineral Springs Rd. At the eastern endpoint, there is parking at County Line Rd.
At Dune Park train station, there is parking and transit connection between Chicago and South Bend via the South Shore Line.
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