Indiana Dunes Recreation Areas

Those living in Miller at the south end of Lake Michigan have very close access to two wonderful parks in the dunes. Both are to the east, but a corridor extends across Miller to Miller Woods off of Lake Street at the Paul Douglas Environmental Center, a wonderful resource for kids and adults alike.

According to an old – 2000 - display at the old National Park Visitor Center it is among the smallest in the National Park system at 15,000 acres, and has 1,419 species of plants. The only parks with more species of plants than the Indiana Dunes are the Great Smoky Mountains (1,581), North Cascades (1,567) and the Grand Canyon (1,474), all with over a half a million acres each. Yellowstone, with two and a quarter million acres, is home to 1,102 different species of plant life.

The National Park Service maintains a database (IRMA) with information on the species in all the National Parks. Click NPSpecies - Information on Species in National Parks and on that page use the drop-down Choose Park to go to Indiana Dunes National Park (INDU).

Filtering species reports results from IRMA gives you a long list of species found in the Park. Click here for the list in a new window or tab.

Likewise, there is a Species Checklist from IRMA. Click here for that checklist in a new window or tab.

Indiana Dunes National Park

The National Park has a wonderful interactive map which is better than anything I can do here. Go to their Area Map and use the tools on it.

The Park Rangers and staff have a year around schedule of events and educational activities. For more information about the National Park contact:

National Park System - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. 219-926-7561

Indiana Dunes State Park

The Indiana Dunes State Park has a trail map in a PDF that can be printed as well as acquired at the entrance. Click on the image or here for the map.

The State Park website is at Indiana Dunes State Park. Phone: 219-926-1952

History and Support

Both parks have a long history that stretches back to the end of the 19th century. The effort to maintain the pristine area was a decades long fight best told in the wonderful video “Shifting Sands: on the Path to Sustainability.”

Save the Dunes, established in 1952, mission is to protect and advocate for the Indiana dunes, Lake Michigan, and the surrounding natural areas for the betterment of the environment and the people who live, work, and recreate in Northwest Indiana.

Friends of The Indiana Dunes sponsors invaluable educational and recreational opportunities at the Indiana Dunes National Park, the Indiana Dunes State Park, and the Dunes Learning Center.

Aimed at children primarily, the Dunes Learning Center offers valuable programs and events that celebrate and teach about the dunes environment.

Photo above of the dunes and the rainbow is courtesy of W. James Spicer and is copy written.
Use with permission of the photographer only.

Page updated September, 2022 from a page created years ago.

© Text copyright: Steve Spicer

Feel free to contact me about this page.