Indiana Dunes and Local Parks

We know; most visitors come to the Indiana Dunes for the big parks. And it’s true that the Indiana Dunes State Park and and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore are fantastic. But did you know that beyond the beaches lie some amazing local parks that have plenty of opportunity for adventures?

Sunset Hill Farm County Park, Dunn’s Bridge, the Calumet Trail and Brincka Cross Gardens are all part of the Porter County Parks system and each one offers unique experiences throughout every season. The parks department has events and tours as well, so check out the events page here.

We let the Porter County Parks takeover our Instagram for an entire week because when you’re in the Indiana Dunes, there’s so much to be found beyond the dunes themselves. See for yourself!

 

The annual Spring Out to Sunset festival features inflatables, live music, pony rides and a homebrew competition with beer garden. The entire family can enjoy the day! Join in on the fun Saturday, May 20 from noon to 5pm. Admission is $5 per car. @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #familyfun

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Dunn’s Bridge County Park is the only spot in Porter County where you can access the Kankakee River National Water Trail. It’s a beautiful place to canoe, kayak or paddleboard. @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #familyfun #DunnsBridge A post shared by Indiana Dunes Tourism (@indianadunes) on

 

 

The Porter County Parks restoration work on the pond and prairie at Sunset Hill Farm won the Shirley Heinze Bringing Nature Home Award in 2016. This award honors those in Northwest Indiana who have a true committment to preserving the environment. @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #prairie #ecology #ecofriendly

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Rental spaces at Porter County Parks include the gazebo at Sunset Hill, the close-to-nature home at Brincka Cross, or the down-home barn ampitheatre with stage also at Sunset Hill. Oh, and plenty of picnic shelters too! @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #familyfun A post shared by Indiana Dunes Tourism (@indianadunes) on

 

 

Prairie Magic Music Festival is a celebration of rock, bluegrass, folk, and Americana music. The festival will also highlight craft, food, and beer vendors. Camp overnight in the campground! Mark your calendars for August 12th and get your tickets at the Porter County Parks website. @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #musicfestival #music

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Local legend says that Dunn’s Bridge may be constructed from parts of the Ferris wheel that debuted at the 1893 Worlds Fair. What do you think? @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #localhistory #localstories A post shared by Indiana Dunes Tourism (@indianadunes) on

 

The Calumet trail – for both cycling and hiking – is unique. As you zoom down the gravel path, you’ll have total nature to one side (Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore) and the modern world on the other (South Shore train line). This is probably the only place nearby to ride past a deer and a train at the same time! @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty #cycling #biking

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Perhaps you’ve taken a walk at Brincka Cross but haven’t seen inside the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired home? Well the original owners were quite quirky. Check out this all red bathroom! Now that’s a behind the scenes look at a local park! @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty

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400 different types of hostas, 450 varieties of daffodils, 25 kinds of crab apple trees, 40 cultivars of ornamental grasses and 25 varieties of forsythias. It’s all at Brincka Cross Gardens. @pcparksnrec #pocoparks #indianadunes #BeachesandBeyond #nwindiana #valparaiso #portercounty

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Whether you explore every park or pick just one for your adventure, you’ll need a place to stay. Find a local hotel or B&B and begin planning your Indiana Dunes vacation.



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