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Indiana Dunes National Park

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Indiana Dunes National Park is located in the northwestern corner of Indiana, of the United States along the shores of Lakes Michigan. The park covers an area of 23.54 square miles (60.97 sq km).

Originally named the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the protected area runs 25 miles (40 km) along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The shoreline terrain is comprised of sand dunes, wetlands, prairie, river, and forest ecosystems.

The sand dunes are the pinnacle attraction of the park.  The sand dunes are constantly shifting, and some may reach heights of around 200 feet (60 m). 

It is amazing how much diversity is found in such a small region of the state.  One of the unique facets of the park is the rich unique vegetation that is located amongst the dunes.

There are three creeks and a river that meanders across the park.  The three creeks include Salt Creek, Trail Creek, and Dunes Creek.  The river is called the East Arm Little Calumet River. Each of these terminates into Lake Michigan.

The park has over 1,400 species of vascular plants making it the 8th most biologically diverse US national park when it comes to vegetation. Some are either threatened or endangered species.

Birds are the most prevalent wildlife species with over 350 different species.  There are 71 species of fish, followed by 41 mammalian species, and 51 species of amphibians and reptiles together. Some of the popular wildlife species include bald eagle, great blue heron, Canada geese, red fox, opossum, raccoon, and white-tailed deer.

Highlights

The sand dunes and beach terrain are probably the highlights for most people.  Walking on the beach, listing to the lake’s waves flowing against the shore, and observing some of the wonderful species of birds flying across the skies is a rather tranquil experience.

Flowering Plants

There are more than 370 species of flowering plants with at least 13 of these rated as threatened or in danger of extinction. The flowering plants arrive in the spring and fluctuate over the summer providing a long season of flowering plants to observe while hiking and exploring the Indiana Dunes.

Indiana Dunes National Park Trails:

The national park has over 50 miles (80.5 km) spread across 14 managed trails that allow visitors to explore the dunes of the national park.

Indiana Dunes Highlights

  • Flowering Plants
  • Remote isolated tranquility

Park Map

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