Indiana Dunes National Park
Location: Chesterton, IN
Length: 4.7 miles in length
Features: bicycling, birdwatching, hiking, fishing, beaches, paddling, sand dune, wetland, prairie, river, and forest ecosystems
About the Indiana Dunes National Park
Indiana Dunes National Park was previously known as a national lakeshore. It is 15,000 acre and located in Northwestern Indiana. It is adjacent in the south part of Lake Michigan, running for nearly 25 miles (40 km). You can start in the visitors center in Porter, Indiana.
Along the trails are sand dunes, wetland, prairie, river, and forest ecosystems. There is a steel mill to the west of the park. Part of the park is the Hoosier Prairie State Nature Preserve. This is a soily rolling topography richly inhabited by hundreds of native species of plants. It also has a 1.3 loop trail with scenic views. The park has an interesting mix of beaches, sand dunes, bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, prairies, rivers, oak savannas, and woodland forests for a whole 15 miles. Because of this rich ecosystem, there’s around 350 birds species inhabiting, passing by or visiting the park. It also has an amazing array of Arctic, boreal, and desert plants. There are even some endangered species you can see along the way.
Families can enjoy bird watching, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, skiing and camping in the park. There is a 45 mile trail available for hiking as well. The trails in the park include Calumet Trail and Great Marsh Trail both in the east side of the park. Access by bicycle can be done through the Calumet Trail. The nearest camping grounds is in Dunewood Campground on US Route12.
Top 3 Adventure Hacks
1) Don’t feed wildlife
It is not allowed to feed any wildlife you encounter during your visit like seagulls, deer, or raccoons.
2) Don’t get fossils
To preserve fossils, it is prohibited to collect crinoid fossils on the beach.
3) Varied ecosystems
Enjoy the varied ecosystems you can see in the trails sand dunes, wetland, prairie, river, and forest