On February 15, 2019, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore became the Indiana Dunes National Park. The name changed just this year, but many changes have been in the making at our beautiful dunes and beaches for a few years now. Dig the Dunes talked to Amber Siewin, the budget technician for the park and she excitedly told us about several fun things that she (and we) thought you should know.
You can now make reservations at the Dunewood Campground. (1/2 is still available on a first come/first serve basis). Act quick though, many days are already filled up! Reservations can be made here.
Canoe and kayak launches are going up! The first one is almost complete on Howe Road by the Dunes Learning Center. (you can find other launches at the Miller lagoon and at Hansen Park in Michigan City).
You can get married almost anywhere in the park! (with a permit).
Ben’s Pretzels is going to be at Porter Beach this year, Piggin’ Out BBQ is at Portage Lakefront (Thursday-Sunday), Kona Ice, Popcorn World, The Shore Store and Eastern National are at West Beach when it’s nice out. Yes, you can eat at the National Park!
There are free shuttle busses and all terrain wheelchairs for guests available on weekends. More info here. The freedom trax all terrain is available to borrow at the Paul H. Douglas Center and beach wheelchairs are available at West Beach. Just ask a lifeguard!
Beer and wine is permitted everywhere in the park (no glass).
Dogs are allowed everywhere in the park except the family area at West Beach and Glenwood Dunes.
Pinhook Bog is on the national natural landmark list and there are ranger guided tours throughout the year.
There are many opportunities for you to volunteer at the National Park. The Park Connection offers opportunities for groups and individuals to work alongside park employees. More information here.
There are over 50 miles of trails in the national park and you can find them all here
Final Fun Fact: You can get a great photo of the dunes (just like our feature photo) at West Beach. Go inside the pavilion and there is a viewing window that will capture the shot perfectly!