In three weeks time, nearly three-hundred people complete the new “3 Dune Challenge”. Indiana Dunes Tourism Promotions Director Ken Kosky tells the Region News Team that figure's based on the number of people who've come to the Visitor Center to pick up a special sticker for their accomplishment, while there've been countless others who probably just haven't gotten the sticker. To hear our interview visit News Audio on Demand here at our website. [Photo: June 12 Kickoff Party for 3 Dune Challenge/courtesy Indiana Dunes Tourism]
Tourism officials say the challenge is designed to give local residents a fun challenge and to attract visitors from places like Chicago, Indianapolis and South Bend to experience the toughest fitness experience in the dunes and to be introduced to Porter County. Kosky says 3 Dune Challenge finishers come mostly from throughout Indiana and Illinois, but some have come from other states and countries.
About a month ago, Indiana Dunes Tourism held a kickoff party for the new outdoor fitness challenge, and more than a-hundred people attended, fifty completing the challenge that night – and getting a sticker for it, like marathon runners get.
To complete The 3 Dune Challenge, a person must run or hike a special 1.5 mile course at Indiana Dunes State Park, climbing Mount Jackson (elevation 176 feet), Mount Holden (184 feet), and Mount Tom (192 feet). Some parts of the trail feature 40-degree slopes, making each step that much more challenging. In the sandy vertical climbs, it’s common to take two steps forward and slide one step back.
Those who conquer The 3 Dune Challenge are invited to stop by the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, located just a mile south of the state park, to buy a shirt and pick up a free commemorative sticker or decal and postcards.
The 3 Dune Challenge trail at Indiana Dunes State Park begins at the Nature Center and is rated as rugged in difficulty level, according to Indiana Dunes Tourism, but the park has several other trails that are rated moderate and easy. So, groups that have people of different fitness levels can pick a trail that matches their ability.
There is no cost to do The 3 Dune Challenge and it can be done any day of the week. However, the park’s entry fee is $5 per car for Indiana residents and $10 per car for those outside of the state.
Indiana Dunes State Park, where The 3 Dune Challenge takes place, is located at 1600 North 25 East, Chesterton, which is north of U.S. 12 on State Road 49. The Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, where people can get commemorative stickers and shirts, is located about a mile south of the park at 1215 N. State Road 49 in Porter.
To learn more about The 3 Dune Challenge, stop by the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, visit www.3DuneChallenge.com, or call 800-283-8687. The 3 Dune Challenge is an initiative of Indiana Dunes Tourism in partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Friends of Indiana Dunes.