The Indiana Dunes is one of the most biodiverse national parks in the entire country. Over 1,100 flowering plant species and ferns make their homes here. How many flowers can YOU find?

Birds You May See

Grab a copy of this self-led birding tour, and visit six of the Indiana Dunes area birding recommended by local birders. Spectacular birds are waiting for you. Can you spot 'em all?

Home of the Paul H. Douglas Center

The Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education is named for the United States Senator from Illinois who first introduced legislation naming the Indiana Dunes a national park in 1958. First designated a national lakeshore in 1966, the Indiana Dunes formally became a national park in 2019. The center named in Senator Douglas’s honor hosts thousands of students, teachers, and families each year. 

Miller Woods Paul H. Douglas center

Zippity Quick

Keep your eyes open for the six-lined race runner. This small lizard can run up to 18 miles an hour!

Nature Up Close

Stop inside the Paul H. Douglas Center to see reptiles and amphibians up close. You may even get the chance to help feed them!

Nature Play Zone

If you are visiting Miller Woods with children, be sure to make time to visit the Nature Play Zone, where kids can climb trees and enjoy the outdoors without harming the environment.

A park ranger puts her phone on a stand to take a picture of the landscape

Volunteer By Taking Photos

Through a unique project called Chronolog, visitors can help in this important task. All they need do is stop at the Chronolog photo station on the trail, snap a quick picture, and email it to the National Park Service. The park uses these photographs to create a time-lapse record of changes in Miller Woods. As the years pass, this record will be invaluable in evaluating the efforts to restore this fragile environment.

Plan Your Visit

What to Expect

The parking lot for Miller Woods is across the street from the Paul H. Douglas Center. After parking in the lot, be sure to look for the marked crosswalk before attempting to cross the road.

Be Ready

Poison ivy can grow alongside the trail, and portions can become wet and muddy. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Bring along a reusable water bottle and snacks.

Be Safe

Mosquitoes and ticks can be a nuisance in the summer, so be sure to use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. Check yourself for ticks after your hike.

Be Responsible

Visitors must stay on designated trails at all times. We have created a video to help you learn about your role in enjoying the dunes area safely while minimizing your impact on the park.

How to Help

Miller Woods is a rare and fragile ecosystem, and we are all responsible for protecting it for future generations. The Indiana Dunes, as a whole, is one of the most biodiverse areas in the United States. Here are some tips to help you limit your impact on the natural habitats in the dunes area.

Get Involved

Be the Change — Volunteer! Get more involved with the Indiana Dunes! There are many no-hassle, drop-in volunteer opportunities available for everyone. Just show up!

Love & Protect the Dunes

Each of us who visit the Indiana Dunes can also help protect natural heritage, biodiversity, and local culture by taking a few simple steps.