Indiana Dunes Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk

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County endorses statewide bike path crossing Chesterton and Porter

The towns of Chesterton and Porter are two locations along a cross-state bicycle route system proposed by the Hoosiers Rails to Trails Council.

The Porter County Commissioners on Tuesday this week gave permission and their endorsement for the non-profit HRTC to use the roads here as part of their AA route creating a link from Dyer to Fort Wayne and making further connections into Illinois and Ohio.

Representing the Indianapolis-based HRTC, Raymond Porter said the organization wishes to develop the Hoosier Hike and Bike Centennial route to be completed in time for the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 11, 2016. The different routes would form a trail system reaching to all corners of the state, he said.

For your safety in Lake Michigan

Summer 2014 - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, The Singing Sands

Entering Lake Michigan is a lot different than splashing in your local pool. It's serious business! Wind driven waves can quickly create dangerous conditions that pose a severe threat to even the most expert of swimmers. People drown in the lake every year. Don't let your visit end in tragedy!

If there are whitecaps on the lake, the water conditions are too dangerous for swimming or wading anywhere along the 15-mile shoreline. Steep, uneven waves can knock you off your feet and tire you out before help arrives.

Lake Michigan is a natural environment. Shifting sandbars, steep drop-offs, uneven bottom and debris all combine to make footing uneven and sometimes dangerous. Sandbars entice poor or non-swimmers to venture far from shore. Waves sometimes knock the unwary off the sandbar into much deeper water, occasionally leading to tragedy. Children and poor swimmers are particularly vulnerable to the sandbars. Keep your children at arm's length at all times.

Lake Michigan, like all bodies of water, is susceptible to contamination by natural and human created bacteria. When concentrations are high, these bacteria can pose a threat to your health. Consider staying out of the water and enjoy the lake from the beach. Even on clear days, you should rinse off with fresh water after swimming.

Temporary Closure of National Lakeshore’s Central Ave. Beach

August 1, 2014

INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: Erosion from waves that reached heights of up to 11-feet earlier this week has resulted in the exposure of concrete block and other hazards at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Central Avenue Beach. The National Park Service will close Central Avenue Beach and its parking lot on August 4th and 5th so heavy equipment can be used to remove the hazards. The site is expected to reopen at 7:00 a.m. on August 6th.

For more information, call the national lakeshore’s information desk at 219-395-1882 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Variety of Dunes-related Topics Discussed at Third Coast Spice Cafe

July 22, 2014 - Tim Moran, LaPorteCountyLife.com

A number of positive initiatives to promote the Indiana Dunes and discussion about pertinent issues regarding the topic ensued during a “Community Coffee Talk” hosted by Third Coast Spice Cafe in Chesterton on Tuesday.

Balancing the need to preserve the dunes and open areas referred to as “greenspace” with the urge to increase tourism and economic development was a hot topic for some of the attendees.

“We need to focus on putting heads in our beds,” said Speros Batistatos, CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority - adding that the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has “a lot of ground to catch up” compared the other national parks across the country in terms of contributions to the local economy.

“The education initiatives are great, but that’s not what pays the bills,” he said. “It’s key for the state park and national park to contribute to the economy.”

The National Park with a $100 million yearly contribution, he continued, is the area’s “largest resource.”

“But while $100 million is a great contribution, I’d like to see that be $200 million,” he said. “I’ve never attracted a resident to the community without them being a visitor first. We are their first impression.”

Shawn Kaczmarek, founder of the Save Moon Valley group in Long Beach, countered by calling for the increase and connection of open areas as a catalyst for economic impact.

“We need to look at how nature can incubate and maintain through a high tech model,” he said, often referring to the state of Colorado, which has 45 percent of its land protected as public open areas. Indiana, he said, only has 4 percent of its land protected in a similar manner. “We need to take a look at Indiana from an outside perspective and see how we can do things better.”

Explore National Lakeshore with Passport to the Dunes

Passport to the Dunes Poster

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore News Release
Release Date: June 27, 2014
Contact: Ryan Koepke, 219-395-1882

Discover some of the hidden treasures of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore through a new Passport to the Dunes program. With so many different access points, it can be difficult to find all of this national park’s special places. The passport helps guide visitors on an adventure of discovery to nine park locations ranging from West Beach to lesser-known areas like the Great Marsh, Glenwood Dunes and Miller Woods.

The passport can be picked up at either the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center in Porter, Indiana or the park’s Paul H. Douglas Center in the Miller section of Gary, Indiana. To complete it, visit at least eight of the locations in the passport and answer one question related to each site. The answers can be found by hiking the trails and reading interpretive signs at each location. Bring the completed passport back to either center and get a free 13" x 19" poster featuring the newly-designed park site logos. There is a limit of one poster per group or family.

This is a great program for someone who has at least a couple of days to explore the park or who makes multiple visits. For more information on this or other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit or contact our information desk at 219-395-1882.