Discover Indiana Dunes: A Midwest Gem of Biodiversity and Beauty

When most people think of National Parks, the Midwest is the last region of the country that comes to mind. Indiana Dunes National Park—which is located in Porter, Indiana—is the fourth most ecologically diverse National Park in the United States. Home to towering sand dunes, pristine beaches, and peaceful forests, Indiana Dunes National Park showcases the striking beauty and biodiversity of Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

One of Indiana Dunes National Park‘s most beloved attractions is the Diana of the Dunes trail. Diana of the Dunes was the nickname of University of Chicago graduate, mathematician, and tireless Indiana Dunes activist Alice Mabel Gray. Gray lived in the Indiana Dunes in an abandoned shack for nearly 10 years and was dubbed ‘Diana of the Dunes’ by a local newspaper due to her unconventional lifestyle. The Diana of the Dunes trail features a staircase that offers a stunning view of the Indiana Dunes. The staircase merges with a trail that features a sweeping view of the Chicago skyline and a panoramic view of Lake Michigan’s crashing waves.

Indiana Dunes National Park features 15 miles of shoreline that is ideal for visitors who are looking to swim, sunbathe, or take a leisurely stroll near the water. During the colder months, visitors can admire a thick layer of ice that forms near the shoreline, sometimes freezing in mesmerizing shards. Be sure to exercise caution if you decide to swim, as dangerous rip currents are common. Also, Lake Michigan features countless dramatic drop-offs where the water becomes very deep without warning.

Pathway to Kemil Beach on a beautiful September morning. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana, USA

Pathway to Kemil Beach on a beautiful September morning. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana, USA
Photo by

Indiana Dunes National Park is also home to numerous placid forests. Wildlife such as white-tailed deer, coyotes, and breathtaking Karner blue butterflies abound in forested areas. Conservationists are meticulously restoring the endangered black oak savanna in Miller Woods. If city life ever starts to get you down, a trip to Miller Woods will surely lift your spirits.

The vast waters of Lake Michigan create a natural barrier that offers an unexpected patch of dark sky. If you yearn to see the Milky Way, a nocturnal trip to Indiana Dunes National Park on a moonless night is one of the best stargazing spots in the Midwest.

The Midwest is full of hidden wonders, and Indiana Dunes National Park is without a doubt one of the region’s most magnificent hidden gems. Prepare to be awed by the striking beauty of Lake Michigan’s shoreline at Indiana Dunes National Park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *