Indiana Dunes National Park: Natural Beauty in America’s Heartland

When most people think of the Midwest, they think of bustling industrial cities like Chicago or Detroit, or endless plots of farmland. The truth is that America’s heartland is home to some of the most scenic stretches of shoreline in North America. Indiana Dunes National Park is located on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. The deep blue waters and thundering waves of the fifth largest lake in the world are as breathtaking and invigorating as any of the world’s oceans.

Needless to say, Indiana Dunes National Park is most celebrated for its rolling sand dunes—which serve as a satisfactory substitute for mountains in a region that is known for being flat as a pancake. Most of the park’s sand was deposited by glaciers which melted thousands of years ago. As a result, the sand is supple and soft, like fine powder. Visitors can saunter through sand, or stroll on numerous wooden boardwalks which have been constructed throughout the park.

Indiana Dunes National Park is also home to an impressive grove of old-growth forests, and other unique plants. Botanist Henry Chandler Cowles worked tirelessly to preserve the south shore of Lake Michigan from overdevelopment in the early 20th century after he surveyed the area’s plants, and realized that he had stumbled upon one of the richest collections of plants and trees in the United States.

Indiana Dunes State Park

If you enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, boating, birdwatching, or simply relaxing in the sunshine as soft waves crash in the distance—a visit to Indiana Dunes National Park is a must. The Midwest is full of overlooked hidden treasures which are worth exploring. Indiana Dunes National Park is just as invigorating, mysterious, and downright beautiful as Yosemite or Zion. Hiking in an old-growth forest while spying royal blue water on the horizon is well worth the trip.

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