Lake Michigan doesn't just border with Michigan - oh no! There is PLENTY of it's amazing shoreline to go around, and Indiana certainly has it's fair share! Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has an amazing 15 miles of the southern shore of that beautiful body of water called Lake Michigan.
If you're a family that LOVES the outdoors, with birds, beaches, and natural wonders, then you might want to head this way!
You may not think about beaches in Indiana, but they certainly have some great ones! A visit to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore give you sandy beaches, as well as rugged dunes, sunny prairies, peaceful forests, meandering rivers, and mysterious wetlands - all with 45 miles of trails right through them so you can really take your time and enjoy them all!
The shoreline itself varies from incredible dunes which stand at over 125 feet high, to playfully short marran grass topped dunes (didn't think grass could grow in sand did you?)
Fancy some pancakes? Wait...what? At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the maple trees are tapped for their very delicious sap, which in turn tastes VERY good on your pancakes! Kids can even learn a bit of history too - back in the 1870s there were some Swedish immigrants who bought 80 acres in Porter County, and it was here they started to tape for maple syrup - and thus the production begun!
In March you'll find the Maple Sugar Time Event on weekends, with tours all about the ample syrup, and guides to tell you all about what is happening (and it's FREE!)
Other activities you can enjoy whilst at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore include horseback riding, picnics, swimming, fishing, boating, hiking and camping - so we KNOW you're hooked now!
Grab that GPS and head on down to the lakeshore - it'll be a shore thing!
West Beach $6 per car, per day.
Kids will love the Junior Ranger program where they can become a ranger, or visit Chellberg Farm - always popular!
Make sure you pack a lunch and enjoy a lovely family picnic! There are plenty of spots and some incredible views!
Healthy Eating Healthy snacks and water are always a good idea to pack to keep that energy up throughout the day - and keep hydrated in the sun!
The national lakeshore is accessed via I-94, the Indiana Toll Rd, the I-80/90, US Hwy 20, Hwy 12 and other state roads. The Visitor Center is found off Indiana Hwy 49 between US Hwy 20 and I-94 in Chesterton.
There is a fascinating history with the dunes, and students get a lot out of studying them! There are self-guided and ranger guided field trips available. Get in contact for more details!
Great news - all of the major sites in the park are accessible with assistance! The Visitor Center is fully accessible as is the lakefront and riverwalk.
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Most areas sunrise to sunset. Visitor Center 8am - 6pm summer and 8:30am - 4:30pm winter.
All year round
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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore