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Blueways

From the time humans first came to Northwest Indiana more than 8,000 years ago, people have paddled this region’s lakes and rivers. With careful planning, proper equipment, safety awareness, and the list of access points below, you can explore the historic, beautiful, an ecologically rich blueways of the Beyond the Beach region.

What are Blueways?

Blueways are creeks, rivers, or lakeshores with several places where a paddler can put in or take out a canoe or kayak. Many of the access points listed below are part of our two main blueways here in Northwest Indiana – the Lake Michigan Water Trail and the Kankakee River Water Trail.

Visit www.greenwaysblueways.com for more information on paddling blueways in the Beyond the Beach region. For paddling maps and information, visit the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center (Site 1).

Dunn's Bridge County Park

Dunn's Bridge County Park

Legend has it that this beautiful and unusual bridge was built with steel salvaged from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Local lore has it that the metal arches came from the world&&s first Ferris Wheel, which debuted at that exposition. Whatever the source of its ... More

T: 219-465-3586 | W: View Website

Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park

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 ... More

T: 219-926-1952 | W: View Website

Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area

Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area

Designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society, 4,199-acre Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area is part of the Grand Kankakee Marsh region (see sidebar, page 39). A single-lane gravel road follows the levee along the south side of the Yellow River and offers excellent wildlife ... More

T: 574-896-3522 | W: View Website

Lake View Picnic Area

Lake View Picnic Area

While Lake View can be filled with beach-goers in summer, it’s a good place to picnic and watch for birds in spring and fall. Ducks, loons, grebes, jaegers, and gulls regularly gather along the lakeshore during migratory seasons. The National Audubon Society has designated the area between the ... More

T: 219-395-1882 | W: View Website

LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area

LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area

LaSalle Fish & Wildlife Area conserves 3,797 acres of hardwood forests, cropland and fallow fields, marshes, brush, and open water. Bisected by the Kankakee River, LaSalle is an ideal stopover for migratory birds. State Line Road and the drive to Parking Area 3 offers excellent roadside wildlife ... More

T: 219-992-3019 | W: View Website

Long Lake Public Access

Long Lake Public Access

While Long Lake is surrounded by private property it is a nice spot for angling or birding. This public access area offers a small, concrete boat launch. Motor boats are permitted, with a maximum speed of 10mph.

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Marquette Park

Marquette Park

In 1921, the United States Steel Corporation donated lakefront lands along Gary's eastern boundary to the City to provide recreational access to Lake Michigan. The Gary Parks Department developed this area into the first lakefront park in Lake County. In 1932, Lakefront Park was renamed ... More

T: 219-866-7099 | W: View Website

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk

Formerly an industrial site for National Steel, this 57-acre lakefront site opened in 2008. Managed jointly by the National Park Service and the City of Portage, this area of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore features an enclosed pavilion with an educational classroom, kitchens and restrooms, an ... More

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Porter Beach Area

Porter Beach Area

Porter Beach area is a good place to watch raptor migration. In March and April, hawks, especially buteos, fly north over the Midwest, riding balmy southerly winds. These soaring raptors avoid flying over large bodies of water, so when they reach Lake Michigan, they follow the shoreline. Thus, ... More

T: 219-395-1882 | W: View Website

Rogers Lakewood Park

Rogers Lakewood Park

Nestled on 122 acres of rolling woodlands on Valparaiso’s northwest side, this park offers picnic pavilions, sledding hill, a disc golf course, and skateboard park. The TeamWorks challenge course provides teambuilding exercises for corporations and other groups. Lakewood Link, a two-mile foot/... More

T: 219-462-5144 | W: View Website