Description - Visitors today can enjoy Indiana Dunes State Park in a wide variety of ways. A campground, many picnic shelters and picnic areas, over 16 miles of hiking trails, a swimming beach, and a nature center are all available for visitors’ use and are operated with visitor safety in mind. During the summer season, a pavilion on the beach provides shelter, restrooms with only outside showers, a snack bar, and gift shop. Dunes Nature Preserve, encompassing 1,530 acres and located within the boundaries of the State Park, provides visitors with an opportunity to explore some very pristine and unique landscapes.
Indiana Dunes State Park features a wide variety of habitats, including beach, sand dunes, black oak forest, wooded wetlands, and a button-bush marsh. Together, these areas contain some of the most diverse flora and fauna of the midwest. Botanists from across the country enjoy studying the unusual collection of plant life found here. In fact, it was here in the Indiana Dunes, that Henry Cowles, known to many as the “father of ecology” did his landmark studies
of succession in the early 1900’s. As a result of his work, the Indiana Dunes became known as “the birthplace of ecology"!
Copyright: - Indiana Department of Natual Resources
Indiana Dunes State Park
- The dunes provide an opportunity to explore an exciting and ever changing landscape. In several areas, huge “living” or “moving” dunes are slowly being
blown inland, burying forests as they go. A good example of such a “living dune” can be seen from Trail 9. Other interesting features in the dunes include “tree graveyards” (places where forests have been buried by sand and then more recently re-exposed by wind erosion). “Tree graveyards” can be seen in Big Blowout near Trail 10.
The Indiana dunes area is renowned throughout the mid-west for its birding! Visit the Nature Center to ask about good birding locations.
Indiana Dunes State Park is surrounded by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a federally administered park comprised of approximately 15,000 acres of beautiful and diverse landscape.
Recreation - Visitors to Indiana Dunes State Park can enjoy picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming, fishing, and cross-country skiing.
Climate - Visitors to this state can expect hot and humid summer days that often reach 90 degrees F in July and August. Summer nights bring little relief with an average temperature of 70. Winter can be extremely cold in this Midwestern state with a yearly average of 40 inches of snow and low temperatures dipping to negative 15 degrees F. Winter daytime highs average close to 40 degrees. Spring and fall are excellent times to visit Indiana spring brings blooming wildflowers and daytime highs of 65 degrees F. With falls mild temperatures the leaves in the forested southern regions of the state change to brilliant hues.
Indian Dunes State Park is located at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County. The park borders Lake Michigan.