Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana Dunes Tourism, and Friends of the Indiana Dunes announce the launch of the “Diana Dunes Dare,” the newest, all-season, self-guided hiking challenge at the Indiana Dunes National Park. A virtual event on Thursday, March 25th at 2:00 pm will celebrate “Diana of the Dunes” and the hiking challenge and dune named in her honor.
The Diana Dunes Dare follows the existing West Beach Dune Succession Trail route. It tells the story of Alice Mabel Gray, also known as “Diana of the Dunes.” Christine Livingston, Assistant Director at Indiana Dunes Tourism, and Kimberly Swift, Chief of Education at the Indiana Dunes National Park, initially thought of the idea to honor Diana’s legacy. Swift coordinates “Badass Women of the Dunes,” a program that highlights legendary women of the dunes, so she has in-depth knowledge of Diana’s story. The two thought naming a dune after Diana and creating an experience around her story would be compelling. “The story of Alice Mabel Gray is a remarkable one,” said Swift. “Alice was an intelligent and free-spirited woman who traded her working woman’s life for a more meaningful existence in the Indiana Dunes’ wilderness. By completing the Diana of Dunes Dare, people will follow in her footsteps and see for themselves why she loved the natural wonders of the dunes.”
Indiana Dunes Tourism, Friends of the Indiana Dunes, and Indiana Dunes National Park all came together and leveraged their resources to make the Diana Dunes Dare a reality. “Creative partnerships have become so important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project was an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Livingston. “Our collective goal was to launch the Diana Dunes Dare before spring to encourage more visitors to hike and stay on the trails at West Beach. The Indiana Dunes spans 15 miles of shoreline and contains over 70 miles of trails. We want people to know there is more to the Indiana Dunes than just the beach.”
The Diana Dunes Dare is the second self-guided, year-round hiking challenge Indiana Dunes Tourism has worked with park partners to create. In 2014, Tourism teamed up with the Indiana Dunes State Park to rebrand Trail 8, creating The 3 Dune Challenge. This wildly successful challenge is 1.5 miles of tough trails with 552 vertical feet to climb and breathtaking views of the Indiana Dunes. Similar to the Diana Dare, visitors and residents who complete the challenge are rewarded with a free bumper sticker and can purchase hoodies, t-shirts, and other merchandise sporting the challenge of their choice.
Visitors can complete the Diana Dunes Dare at Indiana Dunes National Park’s West Beach at 376 N. County Line Road, Gary, IN 46403. After finishing the trail, visitors are encouraged to:
Stop at the West Beach Bathhouse to take a photo at the Diana of the Dunes selfie station.
Post their accomplishment on social media using the hashtag #DianaDunesDare.
Get a free “Diana Dune’s Dare” bumper sticker as a reward from the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or the Paul H. Douglas Center.
Check out Diana Dunes Dare apparel at the Indiana Dunes online merchandise shop at www.indianadunes.com/shop.
To attend the free online presentation, visit the Indiana Dunes National Park’s Facebook page: IndianaDunesNPS at 2:00 pm on March 25th.