Indiana Dunes State Park
1600 N. 25 East, Chesterton, IN 46304
Phone: (219) 926-1952
Fax: (219) 926-9113
While thoughts of sunbathing and swimming in Lake Michigan might first lure you to this beautiful state park, there's so much more to do at Indiana Dunes State Park. The park encompasses 2,182 acres of beach, dunes, marshes, swamps, hardwood forests, and white pine groves. These varied habitats shelter diverse wildlife, and this state park is known for its excellent birding. The park's 16.5 miles of trails allow you to explore all these habitats. And of course the beaches themselves offer great walking and wildlife viewing. Head away from the public beach house, and you'll quickly lose the crowds. Scan the open water for ships, look for treasures in the sand at your feet, watch birds on the open water or feeding at the water's edge, and take in the sweeping backdrop of the dunes. Watch for birds from the small bird observatory in the Nature Center. The park provides camping, picnicking, showers, snack bar, camp store, and a park naturalist. In summer, the park offers a small gift shop and swimming beach with lifeguards. Interpretive naturalist programs are held daily between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and on weekends the rest of the year. View the schedule at www.stateparks.in.gov or call (219) 926-1390 for information.
9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (CST)
Rarer than an eclipse, a planetary transit event occurs when Mercury or Venus pass in front of the sun for us to see on Earth. Join the naturalists down on the beach to watch as Mercury passes in front of our sun. It's a world wide event sure to be popular if conditions are clear. There will be special viewing glasses and optics provided to aid in observation. Come on out.
Call for times (CST)
Indiana Dunes State Park will offer another special themed weekend to explore the natural and cultural resources in the dunes from a woman's perspective. Programs will focus on important woman in dunes history, arts and crafts, a camping recipe exchange, and other activities.
Help celebrate National Smores Day. Start by learning a little about the history of the camping culture of this delicious treat. Then have a full smorgasbord of different smores variations as well as marshmallow games for everyone to try. Kids under 12, please bring a parent. The activities take place at the Wilson Shelter.
7:00 - 11:00 p.m. (CST)
As part of the stargaze event, members from the Calumet Astronomical Society will being telescopes for deep space viewing, and share their expertise and passion for star gazing. Stories on Native American sky lore will also kick things off with the State Park Interpretive Naturalists. with a low setting crescent moon, good viewing of the night sky over Lake Michigan should be possible. Constellation talks will highlight the many star formations that can be viewed over the dunes this time of year. In case of inclement weather or cloud cover, the event will be cancelled.
10:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Storytellers from the Northwest Indiana Storytellers Guild will stretch those imaginations all day at the Nature Center. Different session will focus on an assortment of storytelling themes, including an open mic time slot. Saturday night will feature the ever popular Ghost Stories, with two separate sessions being offered for young children at 5:30 p.m. and a 7:00 p.m. session for older children and adults. The ghost stories will take place in the Wilson Shelter. Cider and cookies will be available as well for this popular event. Arrive early for the best seats.