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“Sun, sand and greenery”

Indiana Dunes State Park
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Chesterton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Indiana Dunes State Park consists of 2,182 acres of primitive, beautiful, historic and unique Hoosier landscape. It lies at the north end of State Road 49 in Porter County, and includes more than three miles of beautiful beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. In the early 1900s scientists, recreationists and nature enthusiasts, recognizing the value and potential of the Indiana dunes area, fought to have the region preserved. As a result, in 1925, the state park was established.Large sand dunes, located beyond the entire shoreline, have taken thousands of years to form, and tower nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan. A wide range of habitats and plant species are found in the park, with vegetation stabilizing some of the sand. These habitats provide homes for many types of plants and animals. The lake also provides habitat for many aquatic species, as well as a constantly changing fishery.Indiana Dunes State Park features a wide variety of habitats, including beach, sand dunes, black oak forest, wooded wetlands, and a button-bush marsh. Together, these areas contain some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the Midwest. Botanists from across the country enjoy studying the unusual collection of plant life. Other interesting features include “tree graveyards” (places where forests have been buried by sand and then, more recently, re-exposed by wind erosion). “Tree graveyards” can be seen in Big Blowout, near Trail 10. The Indiana Dunes area also is renowned throughout the Midwest for its birding. Visit the Nature Center to ask about good birding locations.Indiana Dunes State Park is surrounded by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a federally administered park comprising approximately 15,000 acres.
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Sun, sand and greenery”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Lovely place for everyone.

The beach is clean and well maintained. Great to see there was no alcohol permitted.

The place has 10 walking trails and we ventured on the one where it said moderate and a distance of 3.75 miles but moderate was deceiving, the trail was extremely tough as the walk way is covered with sand but still was worth the exercise and views.

Will definitely visit again.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank AddictiveTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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584 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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Chicago, il
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Poor Experience !”
Reviewed 26 May 2014

We visited the Beach at the State Park. Sad to say that the facilities here were terrible including, Bathrooms, water etc. The Beach is extremely dirty and gets crowded only around the parking lots & there's no one to moderate the area.
Definitely would not recommend anyone to visit this dreadful place!

Visited May 2014
2 Thank Al M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“A summer-time beach.”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

Just a 2hr South Shore train journey away from Chicago , I thought I can spend a day during weekend. And the winter is almost gone , multiplying hopes for a warm beach side relaxing time.
But unfortunately , when I hopped out of the train , the station is like a no-man's place.There is a trail from station to the park , which is pretty good. A snake welcomed my love towards wilderness , and its a big surprise !
Taking pictures of the beautiful after-fall season trees , I reached the Indiana Dunes Park. Oh yeah , the park is so good with lots of sand dunes , a clean waters of the Lake Michigan and the sea-gulls flying around. This is certainly a delightful watch.
Chicago city is also visible from this side of the lake.
Hiking for a few trails , for like 4 hours , I am disappointed that there's no store to buy some drink or food. The visitor center is closed , and opens up only during summer.
If planing to go there, just make sure the forecast says very good weather, or there is no point going there.

Visited April 2014
2 Thank Naveen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chesterton, Indiana
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Dunes State Park definately worth a stop off I-94”
Reviewed 28 April 2014

To get to the Jewel of all natural areas along the Lake Michigan coastline, it is an easy exit of I-94 at the Chesterton exit. Head north on State Road 49 and in just minutes you will dead end into the Indiana Dunes State Park. There you will find miles of beaches lined with white sand dunes, behind which lies richly vegetated forest and wetland. Family swimming beach is one of the best and one of the few lifeguarded. Trails for hikers, runners, X-country skiers, birdwatchers abound. Campground with RV hookups recently renovated with good showers, but be sure and make a reservations because the sites book up early. Hotels, and restaurants from fast food to homestyle to gourmet, just minutes north in Chesterton.

Visited April 2014
3 Thank Gina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crown Point, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
138 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“something for everyone!!”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

This park has it all! Hiking in the woods, Nature center, Camping, swimming in fresh water,
Sun bathing, bird watching, bike riding picnic tables under the shaded trees, end it all with a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan. Fun for all ages too!

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Cheryl677
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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