A whopping 330 million nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts from all over the world visited US national parks in 2017. This summer, visitors will have a new park to explore, and they’ll have to venture to Indiana to get the newest stamp on their national parks passport.
Matador Network reported that the National Park Service welcomed Indiana Dunes National Park to its roster on February 15, making it the country’s 61st national park. Just 50 miles from Chicago the park is doable as a day trip or a multi-day adventure.
Located in northwestern Indiana along the shore of Lake Michigan, Indiana Dunes is the first national park in the Hoosier State. Its status comes after more than a century of lobbying that began formally back in 1916 in Chicago. Since 1966, Midwesterners have known the 15,000-acre area as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. But with the signing of the omnibus appropriation bill in February 2018, the protected area finally obtained national park status.
The park is already Indiana’s most-visited site, with approximately 3.5 million visitors each year. That number is likely to grow as it attracts attention from beyond the Midwest, where most of its current visitors are located. Here’s what to know before you visit.
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