Indiana Dunes National Park

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Detailed Information

Indiana Dunes National Park is a United States national park located in the state of Indiana. It is situated along the southern shore of Lake Michigan and encompasses an area of approximately 15,000 acres (6,070 hectares). The park is known for its beautiful sand dunes, beaches, and diverse ecosystems.

The establishment of Indiana Dunes National Park is relatively recent. It was previously designated as a national lakeshore in 1966 and was officially redesignated as a national park on February 15, 2019. The park’s diverse landscape includes more than 15,000 acres of sand dunes, forests, wetlands, prairies, and river corridors.

Indiana Dunes National Park offers numerous recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the popular activities include hiking, birdwatching, camping, swimming, fishing, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. The park has a variety of trails, ranging from easy walks to more challenging hikes, providing opportunities to explore the unique natural features and habitats.

The park is also home to a rich cultural history. It showcases the heritage of the area, including the presence of Native American tribes, European settlement, and industrial development. Visitors can explore historical sites, such as the Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm, which provide insights into the region’s past.

The Indiana Dunes National Park is located in close proximity to several urban areas, including Chicago, making it easily accessible for day trips or weekend getaways. It attracts millions of visitors each year who come to enjoy the natural beauty and recreational opportunities offered by the park.

It’s important to note that this information is based on the knowledge available up until September 2021, and there may have been updates or changes to Indiana Dunes National Park since then.

The poet Carl Sandburg wrote that these dunes “are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and Yosemite is to California.” With its 15 miles of beaches carved out of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, the park lies just an hour and a half drive from Chicago. The city’s skyline is visible from the Dunes’ more massive sand hills, such as the soaring, 192-foot-high Mount Tom. The site has nearly a third of the state’s rare, threatened and endangered species of plants, including the federally protected Pitcher’s thistle, which, after five to eight years, flowers for the only time in its life, producing cream or pink blossoms. While the park, with its rises and marshes, is small, it claims the seventh highest level of biodiversity among all national parks, thanks in part to its popularity as a stopover as well as a nesting ground for more than 350 species of birds.

The visiting creatures such as the yellow-breasted prairie warbler, the redheaded woodpecker and, in rare appearances, the lesser sand plover attract both professional and amateur ornithologists throughout the year, who hike the park’s trails and visit the Great Marsh Observation Deck. Many then sign up for the park’s annual birding festival in May, with its conservation-focused workshops and bird-calling competitions.

ESTABLISHED 2019
15,349 ACRES
ANNUAL VISITORS: 2.13 M

Contact Information
Porter, IN 46304, United States

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