Indiana Dunes Visitor Center
1215 N SR 49, Porter, IN 46304
Phone: (219) 926-2255
Want to create a personalized tour of Indiana Dunes Country? Just stop by the Visitor Center. Our front desk destination concierges are supremely knowledgeable and can handpick the perfect attractions, activities and accommodations for you. This includes providing detailed information about dining, shopping, beach access, and assisting with directions and many other needs you may have. If you happen to drop by after hours, the brochure-stocked vestibule is open around the clock. Maps and a phone board listing ALL THE AREA'S ACCOMMODATIONS is provided for your convenience. You can also walk through our ever-changing exhibit room, learn about the history and ecology of the Dunes at our in-house movie theatre and pick out educational mementos in our bookstore. Don’t miss… taking a walk around our building and learning about its eco-friendly architecture. Go to each station to learn about rain gardens and native landscaping, and get ideas of environmentally friendly things you can do at home.
From: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Join a ranger at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Visitor Center for a Sunday afternoon of kid's activities, puppet shows, stories and fun. Your children can learn a little more about our neighborhood national park All children must be accompanied by an adult.
7:00 am - sunset
Discover some of the hidden treasures of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore through a new Passport to the Dunes program. With so many different access points, it can be difficult to find all of this national park's special places. The passport helps guide visitors on an adventure of discovery to nine park locations ranging from West beach to lesser-known areas like the Great marsh, Glenwood Dunes and Miller Woods.
The passport can be picked up at either the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center in Porter, Indiana or the park's Paul H. Douglas Center in the Miller section of Gary, Indiana. To complete is, visit at lease eight of the locations in the passport and answer one questions related to each site. The answers can be found by hiking the trails and reading interpretive signs at each location. Bring the completed passport back to either center and get a free 12" x 19" poster featuring the newly-designed park site logos. There is a limit of one poster per group or family.
This is a great program for someone who has at least a couple of days to explore the park or who make multiple visits.
From: 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Explore Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's exceptional diversity of life on a special ranger-led hike every Friday morning in August. The topic and location will change each week so they can highlight the best of the National Lakeshore's changing beauty. Meet the ranger at the Visitor Center to join in on the fun!
From: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Shirley Heinze Land Trust staff, board members and guest speakers, including educator, geologist and author Dr. Ken Schoon; IUN Biology Professor Dr. Spencer Cortwright; and IUN Geo-sciences Professor Dr. Erin Argyilan, will provide insights on the dynamics of land preservation, ecology, geology, and history of Northwest Indiana.
The first stop on the tour is Seidner Dune and Swale Nature Reserve in Hammond. Here participants will depart the bus for a brief walk and learn about the Grand Calumet River Remediation Project, which is using the Preserve as a base of operations for the cleanup of the river from Kennedy Ave. to Cline Ave. This is a special opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look at this major restoration project. The next stop is Ivanhoe South Nature Preserve in Gary for a glimpse of the globally rare dune and swale habitat. Next will be stops at two sites in the Hobart Marsh Project Area, which include high-quality prairie, oak savanna and wetland habitats.
Lunch will be provided at the Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve in Valparaiso.
The afternoon portion of the tour will focus on preserves in Porter and LaPorte Counties, including Little Calumet Wetlands Project Area in Chesterton, Beverly Shores Project Area, and Hildebrand Lake Nature Preserve in Westville. The tour will conclude back at the Visitor Center at 3:30 pm
Reservations are required, call 219-242-8558.