Indiana Dunes State Park is located in Porter County in Northern Indiana. About 50 miles east of Chicago and situated along the Lake Michigan shoreline, this beautiful state park has a lot to offer to families and outdoor enthusiasts. The park features 2,182 acres of natural Indiana landscape, including three miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan. Established in 1925, this is one of Indiana’s most popular state parks.
Activities at the Park
The Indiana Dunes State Park is a very popular destination for visitors from Indiana and across the country. In the summer, most visitors flock to the beach to enjoy the suns rays and the gorgeous Lake Michigan shoreline. Depending on weather conditions, the water could be perfectly smooth or have crashing waves several feet high. The park issues warnings each day about wave conditions; on “red flag” days swimming is not permitted, so be sure to check ahead if you and your family are planning a day of swimming at the beach. In the summer, the beach has a snack bar, restrooms and showers, and several picnic tables for visitors to enjoy.
In addition to the beach, Indiana Dunes State Park also has several miles of hiking trails. Over sixteen miles of trails climb the majestic sand dunes and explore the sandy woodlands along the water. Eight miles of the very popular Calumet trail run through the park as well. In winter, these trails make for very good cross country skiing; be sure to bring your own skis, though, as the park does not have a rental shop.
Visitors to the park can also enjoy a variety of water sports. You will see many avid kayakers on the water, especially on windy days when the waves are large. Additionally, smelt fishing is a popular activity for fisherman in the park.
Finally, for visitors who would like to spend more than one day at the Indiana Dunes, the park has 150 individual campsites, 50 of which have electrical hook-ups. The park also has a large youth campsite for church and school groups.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the Indiana Dunes State Park is late June through August. In the summers, the park usually averages temperatures in the mid-80’s and you can swim in the lake. The later in the summer you visit, the warmer the water temperatures will be. However, though summer is clearly the park’s busiest season, the lakeshore can also be very beautiful in winter. Visitors may have the beach or the hiking trails entirely to themselves, making for a very serene and relaxing winter visit.
For more information about the Indiana Dunes State Park, visit the Indiana park’s website at http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/2980.htm. You could also call the park at 219-926-1952. Finally, the park’s address is:
1600 North 25 E.
Chesterton, IN 46304