Embark on a one-of-a-kind adventure exploring the most diverse landscapes in the Midwest. Hike the towering dunes and through forests, cycle miles of trails or paddle and fish on our open waters. Keep your eyes open for rare birds and native plant life you won’t find anywhere else.
The crown jewel of outdoor activities is the Indiana Dunes National Park and State Park, stretching 25 miles along the south shore of Lake Michigan.
Hike through diverse landscapes, sunbathe and splash on the beach, fish on the lake, go birding, stay at the campgrounds, view shelf ice along the shore, try out cross-country skiing and so much more.
Blueways and Greenways
Kayaking and Paddle Boarding
Streams and rivers intersect throughout the region, for quick trips or day-long adventures. If you don’t have your own paddleboard or kayak, there are places to rent them.
Enjoy hundreds of miles of blueways with numerous access points, many of which are ADA compliant from the Kankakee River in the south to Lake Michigan in the north.
Hiking and Biking
Miles and miles of trails have been developed through the last decade in the South Shore, making it easy and fun to explore the communities by foot and by bike. Many trails have been converted from old railroad tracks to smooth paths perfect for walking or cycling.
The Indiana Dunes National Park rangers dare you to take the Diana of the Dunes Dare - a hiking challenge mixed with a ghost story! Learn about Alice Mabel Gray (aka Diana) and her legend as you hike this moderate trail. Head to West Beach to take the challenge and don’t forget to take a selfie at the Selfie Station located at the bathhouse and use #DianaDunesDare.
The wide variety of habitats at the Indiana Dunes makes it one of the best areas in the Midwest for birding. Throughout the parks including the beaches, marshes, forests, wetlands and dunes you can spot more than 350 different bird species.
At Kankakee Sands watch a large herd of bison roaming the prairie. A viewing area has been established just off US Highway 41.
Fishing and Hunting
The region has plenty of good fishing spots along creeks, rivers and lakes. On Lake Michigan, you have to option to fish from the shore, on piers or by boat. You can even join a professional captain on a charter fishing excursion. For these and other great locations, view our 10 Best Fishing Spots in Northwest Indiana blog.
For the hunter, there are a number of fish and wildlife areas (below) that are open for hunting at certain times of the year. Willow Slough also has a shooting range.
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If you’re looking for an exciting way to explore northwest Indiana, consider hopping on a bike with some friends and pedaling on this area’s many well-maintained bike trails.
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South Shore's Great Outdoors
Tag your adventure #alongthesouthshore