Pets are permitted at many areas of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Pets must be connected to their handler at all times by a leash no longer than six feet. Pets may not be left unattended in a vehicle or tied to an object.
Beaches Open to Pets
The national lakeshore beach east of Indiana Dunes State Park is open to pets. Pets are not permitted on the beach west of the state park (State Highway 49). Pets are permitted in parking areas and trails near the beach area, but must stay off the actual closed beach.
Pets must be on a leash at all times, even when swimming in the lake. Handlers allowing pets to chase birds or otherwise harass wildlife are subject to a citation. Pet handlers are responsible for carrying waste off the beach.
Areas Closed to Pets
Most areas of the national lakeshore are open to pets. However, to better protect sensitive resources or public safety, pets are not allowed in the following areas:
Horses under the direct control of a rider are allowed on Glenwood Dunes trail, a one-way trail, from March 16 through December 14. The trail is closed to horses whenever snow is deeper than three inches. Owners are required to carry away horse excrement from the parking lot and picnic areas. Shoveling droppings onto the adjacent grass or into the woods is not allowed.
During large public events, some areas are temporarily closed to pets. Watch for restrictions posted at entrances to the event area. You may also call the park staff at 219/395-1882 for information.
During special events, some areas are temporarily closed to pets.
Watch for restrictions posted on brown signs at entrances to the parking areas.
Did You Know?
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.