Hikes in Indiana Dunes National Park

There are sand dunes on the Great Lakes? There sure are, and Indiana Dunes National Park ensures that these dunes can be preserved and explored. The park is located on the shore of Lake Michigan at the north end of Indiana near the cities of Gary and Michigan City.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was promoted to Indian Dunes National Park in February 2019, becoming America’s 61st National Park. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was established in 1966 in a congressional compromise that set aside land for the park while creating the neighboring Port of Indiana. The 15,000-acre park includes 15 miles of scenic waterfront on Lake Michigan as well as dunes, bogs, and marshes that represent a significant habitat for wildlife. The park’s beautiful beaches are perfect for picnicking, especially at sunset when the skyline of Chicago is illuminated to the west.

Where to camp: Dunewood Campground has 78 first-come first-serve sites and a full list of amenities.

Where to hike: There are several trails to explore within the park including the self-guided Dune Succession Trail, which depicts the ecological transition from sand dune to forest on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Indiana Dunes National Park
A summer sunset at Indiana Dunes National Park


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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Dune Succession Trail West Beach hike beach Lake Michigan
Dune Succession Trail in the West Beach area of Indiana Dunes National Park offers a mile-long look at the stages of dune development, starting with a beach on the shore of Lake Michigan and ending with a boardwalk through a forest that has risen from the sand. The loop has 100 feet of elevation change, covered by 250 boardwalk steps. In addition to the ecology lesson, the self-guided... Read more.
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Tagged with · Lake Michigan · National Parks · Nature Trails · Sand Dunes
Distance: 1 mile · Elevation change: 100 feet
By: Published: Last updated: February 17, 2019
Indiana Dunes National Park Camping Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore camping Dunewood Campground
Indiana Dunes National Park protects 15,000 acres of lakefront, dunes, bogs, and marshes on the edge of Lake Michigan in northeastern Indiana. Dunewood Campground is the principal campground in the park with 78 sites (53 drive-up sites and 25-walk-in sites). The first-come first-serve campground is open seasonally from April to October. A drive-up site at Dunewood Campground Sites... Read more.
Tagged with · National Parks · Tent Camping
By: Published: Last updated: February 17, 2019