The Crusader Newspaper Group

Indiana Dunes State Park remains open during government shutdown

Photo caption: Indiana Dunes State Park (courtesy: Indiana Dunes Tourism)

Even if the Indiana Dunes National Park closes on October 1, the Indiana Dunes State Park (1600 N. 25 E. Chesterton, IN 46304) will remain open and fully staffed during the federal government shutdown. Visitors will have full access to the park, its paths and the shoreline. Additionally, the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, staffed by employees of Indiana Dunes Tourism, a department of Porter County government, will also remain open.

Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official destination marketing, planning and development organization for the Indiana Dunes area (Porter County), is in close contact with the National Park Service and Indiana Dunes area businesses. Indiana Dunes Tourism will continue to update the media and general public as information becomes available. 

“We’re disappointed to see any type of government shutdown, especially our National Park Service partner, which is an integral part of the Indiana Dunes area,” said Dustin Ritchea, the Production Director for Indiana Dunes Tourism, “but we want to remind visitors that the Indiana Dunes State Park’s trails and beach will remain open to the public. Also, the State Park and many other exciting opportunities, including our area’s communities, events and attractions, will still be available during this time.”

[The following National Park Service information was gathered pre-shutdown. Exact procedures will not be determined until the shutdown is announced. All media questions for the National Park Service will be handled by the Washington Communications Office. Media can e-mail them at [email protected] or visit to see the most up-to-date contingency plans.]

The Indiana Dunes State Park, which encompasses over 2,182 acres of beach, dunes, marshes, swamps, hardwood forests and white pine groves, will not be affected by the government shutdown. The park’s Nature Center and 16.5 miles of trails will continue to allow visitors to explore diverse habitats, learn about remarkable animals and see astonishing views of Lake Michigan. The Indiana Dunes State Park is also home to Trail 9, which USA Today named one of the top scenic hikes in the nation, and the 3 Dune Challenge, a 1.5-mile challenge trail with 552 vertical feet to climb, including the three tallest sand dunes in the Indiana Dunes area.

The Indiana Dunes area will continue to offer many opportunities for adventure, as well as amazing views of Chicago’s skyline and climbs up ancient sand dunes. Hiking, cycling, birding and other natural adventures, along with fine dining, historical venues and local attractions, still await visitors. Our downtown communities, complete with affordable accommodations and Midwest hospitality, will continue to make each getaway a trip to remember.

For more information about the Indiana Dunes area’s exciting events, theater productions, culinary experiences, shopping opportunities and outdoor adventures, visit or call 219-926-2255.

Again, federal media questions will be handled by the Washington Communications Office. The media can e-mail them at [email protected] or visit to see the most up-to-date contingency plans.

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