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Indiana

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, authorized by Congress in 1966, is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Chicago, Illinois in the counties of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte in Northwest Indiana. The national lakeshore runs for nearly 25 miles along southern Lake Michigan, bordered by Michigan City, Indiana on the east, and Gary on the west. The park contains approximately 15,000 acres, 2,182 of which are located in Indiana Dunes State Park and managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Miles of beaches, sand dunes, bog, wetlands, woodland forests, an 1830's French Canadian homestead, and a working 1900 era farm combine to make the national lakeshore a unique setting for studying humans and their impact on the environment. Dr. Henry Cowles conducted his landmark ecological studies in the Indiana Dunes. Indiana Dunes is ranked 7th among national parks in native plant diversity. Research conducted over the last two decades has revealed 1,418 vascular plant species within park boundaries, of which over 90 are on the state of Indiana's threatened or endangered list.

Visitors can access the national lakeshore via Interstate Highway I-94; the Indiana Toll Road, I-80/90; U.S. 20, or Indiana State Hwy 12 and various state roads. The Visitor Center is located 3 miles east of Hwy 49 at the intersection of Hwy 12 and Kemil Road, Beverly Shores, Indiana.
Visitors can travel park roads in personal vehicles. Bicycles are permitted on the main roads but are prohibited on all hiking trails except: Calumet Bike Trail, Long Lake Trail, Marquette Trail, and the Lake Michigan shore line from Lake Front Drive to Central Avenue Beach. Bicycles are strictly prohibited off-trail or on sand dunes.

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Document Information
Source: National Park Service; Indiana Office of Tourism Development; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20050625
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