07 January 2015
Cowles Bog at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
My appreciation for the Indiana dunes began several years ago when researching the early preservation movement in the dunes region, headed up by notable folks like Jens Jensen, and stand-out botanist Dr. Henry Cowles of Chicago who completed pioneering work in ecology in the dunes. While I haven't extensively explored the dunes area (outside of the state park), I have enjoyed a few hikes in the area. Recently a buddy and I hiked the trail through Cowles Bog, one of the most ecologically significant areas of the dunes and named for the good doctor who helped place it on the map.
The bog is estimated to be about 8,000 years old and is described as a "fen" or marsh area covered with mosses and sedges. The bog was named a National Natural Landmark in 1965, about the time the National Lakeshore was created. In 1913, Dr. Cowles headed up an international excursion to the bog, attended by scientists from around the world who came to witness one of the most ecologically-diverse areas in the United States, only behind Yellowstone Park and the giant redwoods area of California.
Yep-right here in Indiana.