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Outdoor Adventures

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.


Dunes by Thenker

Indiana Dunes

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

Paddling Lake Geroge

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

Adventurers can enjoy hundreds of miles of waterways in Northwest Indiana. Paddlers can experience no-wake lakes or the expansive waters along the South Shore of our Great Lake, Lake Michigan.

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.

Indiana Dunes State Park Trail - Michael Dick

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.


Sandhill Cranes by Chong Wu

Wildlife Viewing

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.

Visit Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area from late September through December to view tens of thousands of sandhill cranes during their annual migration.

At Kankakee Sands watch a large herd of bison roaming the prairie. A viewing area has been established just off US Highway 41.


Fishing in Northwest Indiana

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.


Camping at Dunewood Campground Indiana Dunes

Camping

Spend the evenings of your outdoor adventure under the stars at a local campground. The Indiana Dunes National and State Parks both have campsites along with other sites throughout the area.

More Outdoor Adventures

Beaches

There are miles of beautiful beaches in Northwest Indiana along the South Shore of Lake Michigan, including the Indiana Dunes beaches. 
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Biking & Hiking Trails

Northwest Indiana and parts of Eastern Illinois contain 125 miles of biking and walking trails.
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Winter Activities

Winter along the South Shore of Lake Michigan brings rosy cheeks, fluffy snow and lots of outdoor fun. Sledding is a favorite winter activity for...
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Bird Watching

Discover Northwest Indiana's bird watchers paradise! Find bird sanctuaries, nature preserves, county parks & more including the Indiana Dunes.
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Indiana Dunes

Learn about the Indiana Dunes State and National Parks. Find things to do, camping and hotels.
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Public Gardens

The South Shore has a number of public spaces featuring formal gardens, Japanese gardens, prairies, woods and wetlands. These grounds play host to...
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Water Trails

Adventurers can enjoy hundreds of miles of waterways in Northwest Indiana. Paddlers can experience no-wake lakes or the expansive waters along the...
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Charter Fishing

Proven each spring, summer and fall, Indiana's 3 percent ownership of Lake Michigan can be one of the most productive with the chance to join...
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Golf

The South Shore is home to many first-rate golf courses. Test your skills on the green at one of these challenging locations, make it a family trip at...
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Splashing Around

For a splashin' good time, visit one of the South Shore's fabulous water attractions. Whether your family prefers water parks, Lake Michigan...
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Marinas

A trip to the South Shore isn't complete without a stop along Lake Michigan. If you'd rather discover the region by boat or jet ski,...
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Campgrounds

Find traditional, family-fun campgrounds at the Indiana Dunes and surrounding areas.
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Great Outdoors Along the South Shore

Tag your adventure #alongthesouthshore

Request More Information

Would you like more information about the South Shore and the Indiana Dunes? Use the links below to request a visitor's guide be mailed to you, download our Indiana Dunes brochure, join our e-newsletter list or sign up for text alerts.

• Mail me a Visitor's Guide

• Email me the South Shore Explorer Newsletter

• Download the Indiana Dunes Brochure

• Send me Text Alerts