Our recipe for the perfect day? Just add coastlines, dunes, trails, and plenty of water. Luckily, there’s no shortage of lakes, creeks, and waterways to satisfy your inner aquaphile. Prepare your arms—and eyes—for mile after mile of majestic water routes, dune-lined shores, and stunning views of the surrounding communities. Take it easy and rent a boat, or bring your own watercraft and embark on an adventure over lake chains and lush parklands. Either way, it’s one of the best ways to get to know the Indiana Dunes area.
Boasting some of the best paddling in the Indiana Dunes, the Lake Michigan Water Trail gives paddlers an in-depth, first-hand look at the diverse ecosystems of Northwest Indiana with each stroke. Featuring multiple access points along the coast of the Indiana Dunes area, this unique trail is the perfect place to catch views of white, sandy beaches, towering lakeside dunes, and glowing sunsets against the Chicago skyline.
Forget the dumbells and cable machines, the Kankakee River National Water Trail offers 85 miles of shoulder-burning, bicep-making paddling through county, state, and national parks. Feel the burn as you paddle around the bends and curves of this historic river, enjoy views of the surrounding wetland habitat, and stop to rest and refuel at any of the beautiful parks along the way. Whether traveling as a pair or solo, you’ll be in good company—these shores are home to a bounty of wildlife, including beavers, deer, and more.
Relax on the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes
Think of it as floating meditation. Feel your shoulders drop and your stress melt away as you dip your paddle into the serene water of the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes. Located on the north side of the city of Valparaiso, this extensive system of lakes, wetlands, smaller ponds, and streams is the perfect place to take a leisurely paddle between banks of wildflowers, rare migrating birds, and curious wildlife. Placid and private, find a moment (or two) of peace between tranquil Long Lake and the woodland lakes of the 122-acre Rogers Lakewood Park.
Let’s Paddle the Dunes!
Get the lowdown on safety and accessibility as well as detailed launch information from the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association:
Some things stick with us forever, just like riding a bike. Unforgettable vacation memories spent cruising miles of paved trail, off-road adventures, and rails to trails journeys are just to name a few.
We’ve been described as “for the birds,” and no, that isn’t an insult. The Indiana Dunes is a birders paradise. After all, where else can you see more than 350 native and migratory bird species in one place?
Need a reason to get outside? We’ve got 15,000 of ‘em. That’s 15,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness to walk, climb, and hike through along old-growth forest floors, centuries-old paths, and starkly beautiful wetlands.
Shake off the sand south of the Indiana Dunes! Dig up real savings with Indiana Dunes Deals and make the most of your vacation. Discounts ranging from a free scoop of ice cream to savings on activities are like finding buried treasure.
A convenient stay located near downtown? What about a country retreat heaped in Old World charm? Or a place you can bring your four-legged friend? Your unique getaway deserves a distinct accommodation.