The newest national park in the USA: Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes National Park is today the 61st. USA National Park.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was officially renamed Indiana Dunes National Park in mid-February, and is now the 61st. US National Park .

Indiana Dunes National Park

The park encompasses 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15.000 acres of beaches, forests, prairies and marshes. The park's varied landscape and towering dunes offer visitors activities such as sledding in the winter, maple syrup making in the spring, and bird watching throughout the year.

On the Great Marsh Trail System, for example, visitors can take walks along coots, mallards, ducks, tree swallows, green herons and more.

How did the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore become a national park??

The new designation was introduced after President Donald Trump on Friday, 15. February, had signed a bill changing the official name of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to Indiana Dunes National Park.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Indiana Dunes State Park – which spans three miles of beach along the south shore of Lake Michigan – with 2.182 acres of trails and large sand dunes created over thousands of years – still managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Activities at Indiana Dunes National Park

At Indiana Dunes National Park, you can enjoy outdoor activities year-round, whether you want to swim at the beach in the summer or go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.

Hiking is a popular activity in the park no matter what time of year visitors happen to be passing through, with some 80 kilometers of trails that traverse the park's rugged dunes, wetlands, prairies and forests.

Indiana Dunes National Park

The Best Beaches in Indiana Dunes National Park

Looking for a beach in Indiana Dunes? Choose from 15 miles of beachfront on the south shore of Lake Michigan, where you can explore several beaches .

At Central Avenue Beach, visitors can watch bank swallows traveling to and from their nests in spring and summer. A hike on the West Beach Trail System leads to a magnificent view over the lake. West Beach is also the only beach in the national park with lifeguards.

Indiana Dunes National Park

If you visit in the winter, you can enjoy views of the fascinating ice shelf that abounds at Lake Michigan.

Where you can see the highest sand dunes

Indiana Dunes State Park is home to naturally large sand dunes that have formed over thousands of years. Some of the highest dunes rise nearly 200 feet above Lake Michigan.

This includes the highest sand dune in Indiana, Mt. Tom , who towers 192 meters above the lake.

Indiana Dunes National Park

In Indiana Dunes National Park, drive to West Beach for unobstructed views of some of the area's great dunes, or hike up the Dune Succession Trail stairs that lead to a dune with spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

The best dune activities

One of these sand dunes – the Devil's Slide – is extra fun in the winter when it transforms into a natural tube and toboggan run for visitors. Devil's Slide is located in Indiana Dunes State Park.

Meanwhile, the Glenwood Dunes Trail system in Indiana Dunes National Park has interconnected loops that run through forested dunes.

The best hikes for every season

At any time of year, hikers have different vistas to look forward to. Colorful wildflowers dot the Little Calumet River in April and May, while summer offers a prime sunset over the lake.

From late September through October, the Calumet and Porter Brickyard Bike Trails are adorned with fall foliage. The peak colors usually occur in mid-October.

In winter, hikers can traverse the same trails as the park's wildlife, discovering animal tracks often visible in the snow

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