The Indiana Dunes are made up of 2,182 acres of unspoiled, beautiful, historic, and unique Hoosier landscapes. It is located at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County and includes over three miles of beautiful beaches on the southern shore of Lake Michigan.
Large sand dunes along the coast have been created over the millennia and are located nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan. The park has many habitats and plant species and the vegetation inside stabilizes some sand. These habitats are home to many species of animals and plants. The lake also offers habitats for many aquatic species and changing fishing.
In summer, swimming time may vary depending on the weather and staff. Contact the property office for the exact time before visiting.
Let me introduce Indian dunes state park to you if you’re planning to visit there in the future.
6 Reasons to Visit Indiana Dunes State Park
- Indian Dunes State Park
Indiana Dunes State Park offers three miles of coastal and sand dunes.
Other activities available include:
- Swim in the lake
- Calumet bike path
- Nature centre
The park is 47 miles east of Chicago. There are lounging, hiking, and so much more to do.
Evidence suggests Native Americans used the area for seasonal hunting and trade routes. In the 19th century, the Indiana State Park area was home to small castles and settlements in the western city.
Enjoy walking and running up the ‘Devil’s Slide’ dune hill. There are more than 16 miles of hiking trails in the park. The park contains some of the most diverse flora fauna in the Midwest. As you go further east you are getting into the Dunes Nature Preserve.
Adventurous families can enjoy the 3 Dune Challenge, climb the three highest dunes in the park, and enjoy the beauty!
- Historic Fun
The Indiana Dunes became known as “the birthplace of ecology” as a result of professor Henry Cowles, known to many as the “father of ecology”, who perfumed pioneering ecological succession studies here in the early 1990s.
The park contains areas referred to as “tree graveyards” where forests have been buried by sand and then re-exposed by wind erosion.
So a dune is essentially a large pile of sand but what it’s actually created by glacier ice moving about 14,000 years ago or what it did is it left white sandy beaches in Northwest Indiana up to 192 feet tall. Indian State Dune Park gets people from all over the country even international, last year alone this had 3.5 million people.
- Breathtaking Beach
The Beach is breathtaking, everything you want a beach day to be. People lounging, catching some rays, dogs running around catching Frisbees there’s a perfect beach day. So many people having fun and you’ll see them doing all that stuff.
The beaches are formed by winds coming off Lake Michigan. There are large numbers of incredible, flat “skipper” stones on the beach.
- Nature Centre
The Nature Centre is where you encourage a lot of people to start. In the nature center, they have trained staff that is going to let you know what to prepare for. Three dune challenge takes you on a one and a half mile hike along the three tallest dunes of the whole National Lakeshore.
They have over seven trails and they range from easy to moderate to rugged and are actually going to get started on trail four which is listed as a rugged.
- Craft beer (and vineyard) tour
Local Independent breweries discovered that many parents took their children on vacation and added a unique lunch, and some even offer non-alcoholic beverages for the children.
- Mount Tom
Mount Tom is part of the “Three Dunes” challenge. You don’t need a compass, all the trails are marked really well, and you should be able to find your way. When you’re in a forest it’s bathing you with good energy, there are so many studies going on that really show that people should be outdoors not only helps their physical health but also their mental health.
So this is a great place not too far away for you. The stairs in this area might be a little bit easier to climb within the state park. It’s actually the tallest dune on the whole National Lakeshore. While walking around there, looking at the trees and birds and even lizards present an eye-catching scene.
You may not have seen Indiana dunes when you were a kid, but I am happy to know that the Midwest (and southern immigrants like me) can enjoy beach vacations on beautiful Lake Michigan. With beaches, hiking trails, kayaking, sweets, and food just like on the coastal beaches but without Sharks!