Posts Tagged ‘Indiana Dunes State Park’

An Indy Girl’s Summer in Indiana Dunes Country

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment

On the beach at Indiana Dunes in Porter County, Indiana.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Danielle Pieratt
Indiana Dunes Tourism Intern

I’ve been in Indiana Dunes Country for almost three months now while doing my summer internship. It’s been like a beach vacation without having to drive 15 hours to Florida.

Fortunately, I have a couple weeks left to enjoy the rest of the summer up north by relaxing on the beach, attending events like Indiana Dunes Tourism’s 30th Anniversary Celebration and eating at award-winning restaurants like Lucrezia Cafe in Chesterton.

One of my favorite parts about living up north has been the beach. There are so many different trails and nature hikes to explore. If you are a fan of biking, there are plenty of bike trails to ride on that get you from one place to the next. At the end of July, Indiana Dunes Visitor Center is unveiling a new bike path called the Dunes Kankakee Trail that travels from the Visitor Center for three miles to Indiana Dunes State Park, and which will eventually go to the Kankakee River.


Valpo Velvet Ice Cream Company in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

If you are thinking about venturing up north into Indiana Dunes Country to explore what it has to offer, a helpful guide is the “Must See and Do” in the Indiana Dunes Country Activities Guide. It features 14 options on exiting things to do.

The Broken Wagon Bison Farm was one of the most exciting things I got to enjoy from this list. On the tour, you are able to come face to face with over 100 of America’s largest native land mammals. This is especially exciting as it’s Indiana’s bicentennial this year.

No matter what you choose to do while visiting Indiana Dunes Country, it is sure to blow you away. The food, people and atmosphere can’t be beat… And that’s coming from an Indy girl. Visit for more information.


Editor’s Note: Danielle Pieratt is a senior attending Ball State University, working toward a public relations degree. She is currently an intern for Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism agency for Porter County.

Shelf Ice Seminar at Indiana Dunes State Park

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

Indiana Dunes Visitor Center. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism

This winter’s relentless cold, snow and ice has resulted in dramatic, beautiful formations of shelf ice along Lake Michigan’s southern shore at Indiana Dunes State Park.

Now, people can see the shelf ice for themselves by watching an aerial video being shared by Indiana Dunes Tourism, and people can attend one of two special shelf ice exploration programs set for March at Indiana Dunes State Park at 1600 North 25 East in Chesterton, IN.

The state park’s interpretive staff will teach how the ice forms and offer a bird’s-eye view of the ice from atop the historic beach pavilion. The shelf ice events are set for 2 p.m. CST Saturday, March 1; and 2 p.m. CST Saturday, March 22 at the Indiana Dunes State Park pavilion.

“I think there is an amazing beauty to the shelf ice. It’s an arctic-like landscape,” said Brad Bumgardner, Indiana Dunes State Park interpretive naturalist. “People can get a better perspective of the shelf ice (from the pavilion rooftop) without walking on the shelf ice.”

The shelf ice video, shot by Thad Donovan, who is president of Smith Donovan Marketing & Communications in Chesterton, can be viewed at

Shelf ice, which is much weaker than ice sheets that form on inland lakes, forms as waves push ice chunks together, resulting in a conglomeration of frozen pieces full of air pockets and weak spots.

“People should never attempt to walk on it,” Bumgardner said. “It’s not stable and cave-ins have occurred recently. Warming spring conditions will only make it more dangerous.”

People who can’t attend one of the shelf ice programs are invited to view the shelf ice safely from the beach any day of the week at Indiana Dunes State Park or the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which has access points on either side of Indiana Dunes State Park.

For more information about the shelf ice programs in March, call 219-926-1390.

Indiana Dunes State Park Remains Open

October 5, 2013 Leave a comment
Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Visitors Center

The federal government shutdown is resulting in the closing of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Fortunately, visitors can still enjoy hiking, bird watching, nature programs, camping, numerous trails, and walking along the shores of Lake Michigan at Indiana Dunes State Park.

Indiana Dunes State Park is located north of Chesterton at the northernmost point of State Road 49 and offers similar features as the national park.

“This is actually an opportunity for us to point out the unique setup of the Indiana Dunes, which is a State Park within a National Park,” said Indiana Dunes Tourism Executive Director Lorelei Weimer.

“Most people don’t even realize the differences between the two, because both places allow you to enjoy the majestic dunes, trails, wildlife, and Lake Michigan shoreline. We are especially fortunate to have both because people can still have the Indiana Dunes experience during the National Lakeshore closing,” Weimer said.

The closed access points are Bailly Homestead and Chellberg Farm, Central Avenue Beach, Cowles Bog, Dunbar, Douglas Center, Dunes Learning Center, Dunewood Campground, Glenwood Dune (Ly-co-ki-we) Trail, Great Marsh Trail, Heron Rookery Trail, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Headquarters, Kemil Beach Area, Lake View Picnic Area, Little Calumet River Trail, Mount Baldy, Pinhook Bog, Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, Porter Beach, Tolleston Dunes (Inland Marsh) Trail, and West Beach.

The Indiana Dunes State Park campground, located inside of the park, is full for the upcoming weekend, but spots are still available during the week.

Additional information can be found at or by calling 800-283-8687.

Indiana Dunes Photography Contest Now to Aug. 30

Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park.
Photo provided by Indiana Dunes Tourism and used with written permission.

By Ken Kosky
Indiana Dunes Tourism

Indiana Dunes Tourism is seeking photos and videos that capture the beauty and adventures that can be found in the Indiana Dunes and the many great sites beyond the beach. The “Share Your Beyond the Beach Adventure and Win” contest runs from now to Aug. 30, 2013.

People are encouraged to share their outdoor adventures along the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail. The trail, which can be found at, features 60 sites in the Dunes Region, Moraine Region and Kankakee Region of Northwest Indiana. Photos and video can be taken on land, in the water or even from the air. People can visit to learn more about the contest or to upload a photo or video.
“We’re sponsoring this contest to encourage people to explore the sites along the Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail and to share photos and videos that will highlight the wide array of adventures that can be experienced,” said Christine Livingston, Indiana Dunes Tourism assistant director.
The contest prizes include an overnight stay and Memorial Opera House tickets, as well as an Indiana Dunes State Park season pass and a $50 dinner gift certificate. The Beyond the Beach Discovery Trail is a collection of natural, historical and cultural sites throughout Northwest Indiana.
Indiana Dunes State Park is located in Porter County in northwestern Indiana on the south shore of Lake Michigan. For more information, visit, or call 219-926-2255.