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Birding

Few places in the Midwest rival the Indiana Dunes area for birding. More than 350 species live or migrate through here, drawn by the open waters of Lake Michigan into the landscapes of beaches, dunes, wetlands, and prairies. We’re best known for our spectacular migrations, where you can witness thousands of Sandhill Cranes in a single autumn day or count a hundred hawks over the dunes in spring.

Browse Indiana Dunes Birding Spots

Backpacks for Birders

A program that allows both beginners and experienced birders access to the equipment and information needed to enjoy birding in and around the Indiana Dunes. The best part? It’s free!

Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

For personal birding advice and local expertise, stop by our Visitor Center for some friendly face-to-face assistance.

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Aukiki Wetland Conservation Area

This 650-acre parcel conserves a mix of wetlands, black oak barrens, and sand prairie, offering wildlife viewing, hiking, and hunting. Aukiki is part…

State Rd. 49, Wheatfield

Bass Pro Shops

This 130,000 square-foot store has everything for outdoor enthusiasts, including boats, fishing gear, and hunting equipment. There is also a giant…

6425 Daniel Burnham Dr., Portage

Beverly Shores Project Area

Park at Lake View Picnic Area to bird the open water and beach. Bike or bird from your vehicle along the west end of Beverly Drive. This area…

500 S. Broadway Ave., Beverly Shores

Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve

This beautiful 167-acre preserve is a relaxing place to walk or picnic with water features, a shelter, and a five-mile trail through restored…

2401 Village Point, Chesterton

Cowles Bog Trail

This is where Henry Chandler Cowles conducted his landmark study of the dunes’ vegetation succession. Pass through wooded dunes and wetlands until…

1450 N. Mineral Springs Rd., Dune Acres

Dune Succession Trail

The Dunes Succession Trail links with two others in the national park system, covering a total of 3.6 miles. As the name suggests, this trail is a…

376 N. County Line Rd., Gary

Forest Park

Though Forest Park is just ten acres in size, it is a lovely spot for a stroll or for a family picnic. Oak and hickory trees dominate the woodlands…

564 Harrison Blvd., Valparaiso

Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest

Gabis is a popular location for birding enthusiasts and offers more than 300 acres of dog-friendly walking trails, gardens, woodland, and wetlands.…

450 W. 100 North, Valparaiso

Great Marsh Trail

Just a short stroll to an accessible observation platform provides a great view of this recently restored wetland. Wading birds like herons and…

500 S. Broadway Ave., Beverly Shores

Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary

A truly unexpected find. A small, 600-meter track nestled in the middle of an industrial area may not seem worth exploring, but this one is! As you…

701 Casino Center Dr., Hammond

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More Outdoor Adventures

Beaches

With 15 miles of award-winning shoreline to explore, nine oh-so-swimmable beaches, and many towering dunes, you’ll be enchanted by the magic of the Indiana Dunes.

Bicycling

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.

Fishing

Fishing season? Try fishing seasons. With this many inland lakes, creeks, miles of shoreline, and deep waters, we’re hooked on the sport all year round.

Hiking

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.

Paddling

Our recipe for the perfect day? Just add water. Luckily, around here there’s no shortage of lakes, creeks, and waterways to satisfy your inner aquaphile. Take it from us, it’s the best way to get to know the area.

Wandering

Take the time to wander and let your senses take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Indiana Dunes. Explore gardens, parks, and other natural areas with serene settings.

Share your adventures with us by tagging #beachesandbeyond

Featured Accommodations

A true birder needs more than one day to explore. Check out these inspiring lodging options to make your stay all the more memorable.

Bed & Breakfasts

Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast Inn and Spa

Songbird Prairie Bed, Breakfast, Inn and Spa

Stay at Indiana Dunes Country's most Romantic Inn and receive 15% OFF of your room rate when you reserve a two-night stay. Located at: 174 N.…