Avoid the Beach Crowds and Go to West Beach
Contact: Lynda Lancaster, 219-928-8677
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: On hot summer weekends the beach parking lots along Indiana's shore quickly fill up. That is, all but one. West Beach, part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, rarely fills up. The National Park Service wants to remind visitors that they can often find a parking spot at West Beach when other lots are full.
West Beach is located just north of U.S. Highway 12 on County Line Road between Lake and Porter Counties. West Beach can be easily reached from either U.S. Highway 20 or U.S. Highway 12 (Dunes Highway).
"On the Memorial Day weekend cars were backed up at places like Porter Beach and the state park," said Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Chief Ranger Mike Bremer. "but there were empty parking spaces at West Beach - only a few miles to the west."
West Beach has 600 parking spaces, a bathhouse with showers and rest rooms, a shaded picnic area, hiking trails, and food concessions. Lifeguards are on duty daily in the summer. There is a $6.00 fee per vehicle. Bicycles and pedestrians are free. Alcohol is not allowed at West Beach. Pets on a leash are allowed on trails, but not on the beach.
For travelers coming from Illinois or Lake County, Indiana, West Beach is closer than the eastern beaches of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Next time you are looking for a place to hit the beach, avoid parking lot jams and head to West Beach. It might be the place with room to spare.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 397 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
Did You Know?
Cowles Bog is not a true bog but rather a fen because it has an underground water source. This water source has contact with limestone bedrock, making the fen’s water slightly alkaline. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is restoring a portion of this fen.