Indiana gets its first national park

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The National Park Service has welcomed Indiana Dunes National Park to its roster, making it the country’s 61st national park.

Located in northwestern Indiana along the shore of Lake Michigan, 50 miles from Chicago, Indiana Dunes is the first national park in the 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 includes 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 15,000 acres of biodiverse beaches, woods, prairies and marshes. Up to two million visitors visit the Indiana Dunes each year.

Dunewood Campground has 66 primitive campsites (54 pull-thru) for $25 a night. It’s first- come, first-served. It’s open April 1 through November 1. For a bird’s eye view, check it out on Google Earth or Maps at GPS coordinates 41.671786, -86.983985.


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