The National Park Service oversees Indiana Dunes National Park, a U.S. national park in northwest Indiana. It was once designated as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore by Congress in 1966, but on February 15th, 2019, it became the 61st national park in the United States. The park extends along the southern shore of Lake Michigan for roughly 20 miles, with a total of 15,349 acres. Between Michigan City, Indiana, and the ArcelorMittal steel factory, the eastern shore of Lake Michigan is about U.S. 12 or U.S. 20. South of the steel factory, a brief extension extends west along Salt Creek to Indiana 249. Between the Burns Ditch and Broadway in downtown Gary, Indiana, the western section essentially follows the shoreline south to U.S. 12. There are also other outlying sites, such as Pinhook Bog in LaPorte County, the Heron Rookery in Porter County, and the Calumet Prairie State Nature Preserve in Lake County, the western end of the park, which is home to a variety of wildlife.
The southern shore of Lake Michigan is home to Indiana Dunes National Park, which stretches for 15 kilometers along the shoreline. The 15,000 acres of the national park will never get old, whether you’re looking for rare bird species or flying kites on the dunes. 50 miles of trails meander through rocky dunes, eerie swamps, bright grassland, winding rivers, and tranquil woodlands.
Entrances and how to reach Indiana Dunes National Park
Take exit 26 north on Interstate 94; exit 31 north on Interstate 80/90; take U.S. Highways 12 and 20; or the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, which is located on Indiana State Road 49, to get there. It’s easy to find your way around the park thanks to the numerous signs.
The South Shore Railroad provides stops near the area for public transit. As a general rule, it’s best to take public transportation rather than a cab or a ride-sharing service to go around the park and explore at your own pace. Review the park’s many maps to locate specific beaches, hiking and biking trails, horseback riding trails, the visitor center, etc.
From Interstate 94, the Toll Road (Interstate 80/90), U.S. Highways 12 and 20, Indiana State Road 49, and other state roads, visitors can get to the Indiana Dunes National Park via the Toll Road. The Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is located on State Road 49 in the Dunes State Park. Take exit 31 north from the Indiana Toll Road (Interstate 80/90). Take exit 26 north from Interstate 94. The visitor center is located at 41.633349, -87.053762 in GPS coordinates (Decimal Degrees). On U.S. Highway 12, most of the national park’s facilities can get to. Look out for enormous brown signage on adjacent highways that point you to various parts of the national park.
If you’d like to learn more about the park’s trail systems (including beach access points, picnic areas, and historical sites), please check out the maps page.
By Public Transportation
By Train, Bus, or Commercial CarChicago and South Shore trains stop at the park. Additionally, it is possible to fly into or out of Chicago Midway or O’Hare International airports as well as Gary Regional and South Bend regional airports. Taxi services can be found in the neighboring towns. See the Public Transportation page for additional information.