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.
Winter is not the time to lay around on the couch. Grab your adventure spirit and join in the fun. All you need is a GPS unit and a warm jacket. Winter visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, camping, hiking, snowshoeing, birding, a full service Nature Center, and of course geocaching. Want an extra challenge or perhaps something more outdoorsy? Strap on a pair of park snowshoes and try your hand at completing the famous 3 Dune Challenge in the winter.
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.