• Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Indiana Dunes

    National Lakeshore Indiana

Fee Free Weekends

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Date: June 15, 2009

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ANNOUNCES FEE FREE WEEKENDS

The National Park Service “Fee Free Weekends” will waive the entrance fees at national parks on selected weekends this summer. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a unit of the National Park System, has no entrance fees it is not participating in this program. But, in the spirit of this effort, the lakeshore will waive the parking fee at West Beach on June 21, 2009.

“Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a great bargain every day because it is a national park close to the 10 million people of Chicago and Northwest Indiana, but has no entrance fee,” notes Constantine Dillon, park superintendent. “Waiving the parking fee at West Beach for a day might encourage some folks who might not have visited this fantastic beach site to give it a look.”

West Beach is located at the north end of Lake/Porter County Line Road. There is easy access from Interstate 80-94 or the Indiana Toll Road.  Detailed directions can be found at the park website www.nps.gov/indu or by calling the park visitor center at 219-395-8914.

The parking fee at West Beach pays for maintenance of the area and for lifeguards. This is the only lifeguarded beach in the national lakeshore. West Beach is more than the beach, this is a great area for birding, features a self-guided trail on plant succession, offers covered picnic tables, and has a bathhouse with showers.

So grab your dad, family and friends and make some national park memories this Father’s Day June 21.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 391 units of the National Park System ranging from Yellowstone to the Statue of Liberty. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore includes 15 miles of the southern shoreline of Lake Michigan and 15,000 acres of beach, woods, marshes, and prairie in the northwest corner of Indiana. More than 2 million visitors come to this national park each year. For more information on holiday weekend activities at the national lakeshore, contact the information desk at 219-926-7561, extension 225.  For a list of family fun activities at the national parks this summer go to: www.nps.gov/pub_aff/parks2009/index.htm

Did You Know?

Close-up of flames burning a prairie

Without fire, there could be no prairie at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Non-prairie plant species would crowd out native prairie grasses. These rare grasslands are maintained through periodic controlled burns.