Superintendent's Compendium

Signed Compendium
Signed Compendium Header

NPS

A. INTRODUCTION

1. Superintendent’s Compendium Described


The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park system, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature.

Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

This Compendium should be used in conjunction with Title 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, to more fully understand the regulations governing the use and enjoyment of all the areas of the National Park System.


A copy of Title 36, CFR, can be purchased from the U.S. Government Printing Office at: www.gpo.gov

OR

Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954

The CFR is also available on the Internet at: www.ecfr.gov.

2. Laws and Policies Allowing the Superintendent to Develop This Compendium


The National Park Service (NPS) is granted broad statutory authority under Title 54 United States Code (U.S.C.) §100101(a) (formerly 16 U.S.C. 1a-1, “Organic Act”) to “….regulate the use of the National Park System by means and measures that conform to the fundamental purpose of the System units, which purpose is to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” In addition, Title 54 U.S.C. §100751(a) allows the NPS, through the Secretary of the Interior, to “prescribe such regulations as the Secretary considers necessary or proper for the use and management of System units.”

In 1970, Congress amended the NPS Organic Act to clarify its intentions as to the overall mission of the NPS. Through the General Authorities Act of 1970, Congress brought all areas administered by the NPS into one National Park System and directed the NPS to manage all areas under its administration consistent with the Organic Act of 1916.

In 1978, Congress amended the General Authorities Act of 1970 and reasserted System-wide the high standard of protection defined in the original Organic Act by stating “Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined by Section 1 of this Title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by Section 1 of this Title, to the common benefit of all people of the United States.”

In addition to the above statutory authority, the Superintendent is guided by established NPS policy as found in the NPS Management Policies (2006). The Superintendent is also guided by more specific policies promulgated by the Director, National Park Service, in the form of Director’s Orders. As stated in the Management Policies, the primary responsibility of the NPS is to protect and preserve our national natural and cultural resources while providing for the enjoyment of these resources by visitor and other users, as long as use does not impair specific park resources or overall visitor experience. The appropriateness of any particular visitor use or recreational experience is resource-based and will vary from park to park; therefore, a use or activity that is appropriate in one park area may not be appropriate in another. The Superintendent is directed to analyze overall park use and determine if any particular use is appropriate. Where conflict arises between use and resource protection, where the Superintendent has a reasonable basis to believe a resource is or would become impaired, than that Superintendent is obliged to place limitations on public use.

3. Consistency of This Compendium with Applicable Federal Law and Requirements


The Superintendent’s Compendium is not considered a significant rule requiring review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. In addition, this Compendium will not have a significant economic effect on a number of small entities nor impose a significant cost on any local, state or tribal government or private organization, and therefore does not fall under the requirements of either the Regulatory Flexibility Act or the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

The actions and requirements described in this Compendium are found to be categorically excluded from further compliance with the procedural requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Department of the Interior (DOI) Guidelines 516 DM 6 and as such, an Environmental Assessment will not be prepared.

4. Development of the Requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium


As outlined above, the NPS has broad authority and responsibility to determine what types of uses and activities are appropriate in any particular National Park System area. The requirements of the Superintendent’s Compendium are developed through an analysis and determination process. The decision criteria used during this process are:
• Is there use or activity consistent with the NPS Organic Act and NPS policy?
• Is the use or activity consistent and compatible with the park’s enabling legislation, management objectives, and corresponding management plans?
• Will the use or activity damage the park’s protected natural and cultural resources and other protected values?
• Will the use or activity disturb or be in conflict with wildlife, vegetation, and environmental protection actions and values?
• Will the use or activity conflict with or be incompatible with traditional park uses and activities?
• Will the use or activity compromise employee or public safety?

5. Applicability of the Compendium


The rules contained in this Compendium apply to all persons entering, using, visiting or otherwise present on Federally owned lands, including submerged lands, and waters administered by the NPS within the legislative boundaries of the park. This includes all waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, including all navigable waters.

6. Enforcement of Compendium Requirements


NPS Law Enforcement Park Rangers enforce the requirements of the United State Code, 36 CFR, and this Superintendent’s Compendium.

7. Penalties for Not Adhering to the Compendium Requirements


A person who violates any provision of the regulations found in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, or provisions of this Compendium, is subject to a fine as provided by law (18 U.S.C. 3571) up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, or by imprisonment not exceeding six months (18 U.S.C. 3559), or both, and shall be adjudged to pay all court costs associated with any court proceedings. You may receive a list of fines associated with any particular provision by contacting the Chief Ranger at the park address found below.

8. Comments on the Compendium


The Compendium is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. The park welcomes comments about its program and activities at any time.

Written comments on the Compendium may be submitted to:
Superintendent Indiana Dunes National Park
1100 N. Mineral Springs Road Porter, IN 46304

9. Effective Date of the Superintendent Compendium


The Superintendent’s Compendium is effective on the approval date listed on the first page of this document.

10. Additional Information


Some of the terms used in this Compendium may have specific meaning defined in 36 CFR 1.4 Definitions.

11. Availability


Copies of the Compendium are available at the Chief Ranger’s Office located in the parks Headquarters, 1100 N. Mineral Springs Road, Porter, IN 46304.

It may also be found on the internet at http://www.nps.gov/indu/learn/management/superintendent-compendium.htm

12. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)


In accordance with National Park Service (NPS) Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Indiana Dunes National Park uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.

The NPS’s use of CCTV for law enforcement and security purposes and will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use – which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist activity; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities, revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers.

Operation of CCTV cameras will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy. No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views.

Nothing in this policy statement is intended to create any rights, privileges, or benefits not otherwise recognized by law.
 

B. SUPERINTENDENT’S COMPENDIUM


In accordance with regulations and the delegated authority provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations (“36 CFR”), Chapter 1, Parts 1-7, authorized by Title 54 U.S.C. §100751, the following provisions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, within the boundaries of Indiana Dunes National Park. Unless otherwise stated, these regulatory provisions apply in addition to the requirements contained in 36 CFR, Chapter 1, Parts 1-7.

Written determinations, which explain the reasoning behind the Superintendent’s use of discretionary authority, as required by Section 1.5(c), appear in this document identified by italicized print.

I. 36 CFR §1.5 – VISITING HOURS, PUBLIC USE LIMITS, CLOSURES, AND AREA DESIGNATIONS FOR SPECIFIC USE OR ACTIVITIES


(a)(1) The following visiting hours and public use limits are established for all or for the listed portions of the park, and the following closures are established for all or a portion of the park to all public use or to a certain use or activity:

Visiting Hours:
• Unless otherwise posted or noted below, all public use areas are open daily from 6am to 11pm.

• West Beach, which is defined from the Porter/Lake County Line Road to the western edge of Ogden dunes and from a line 300 feet north of the shoreline of Lake Michigan to the south where the park meets private property is open from 6am to 9pm.

• Porter Beach, which is defined from Wabash Avenue to the western edge of the Indiana Dunes State Park and from 300 feet north of the shoreline of Lake Michigan to Roskin Road is open from 6am to 9pm.

• Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, which is defined from the Burns Waterway to the eastern edge of Ogden Dunes and from a line 300 feet north of the shoreline of Lake Michigan to the south where the park meets private property, is open at all times to those actively engaged in fishing.
Reasonable visitation limitations are set to balance the needs of public access, resource protection, visitor safety, property protection and community concerns.

Public Use Limits:
• Glass containers are prohibited on all beach areas.

Due to hazards presented by broken glass to barefoot walkers, waders and swimmers, glass is prohibited on all beach areas.

• Cross country skiing is restricted to beaches and park trails. Ice skating, ice boating or similar activities are prohibited.

The restriction on Cross Country Skiing reduces resource damage to sensitive plants. Ponds and other waterways are not checked for safe ice conditions to make ice skating, ice boating, or similar activities reasonably safe. Animals living around ponds and other waterways are ill-prepared to endure additional stress placed on them by these activities occurring nearby.

Closures:
• Public access onto shelf ice and frozen ponds and waterways is prohibited.

Walking on shelf ice is extremely hazardous. Persons falling through hidden holes and weak spots can quickly disappear from view making rescue difficult. Ponds, creeks and other waterways are not monitored for safe ice conditions. Subsurface water flows can create unseen thin areas making these locations unsafe. Access to frozen ponds places wintering animals under additional human-caused stress.
• The following areas are closed to all public entry:
o Pinhook Bog trail - Visitation is restricted except when accompanied by a National Park Service employee or by permission of the Superintendent. Walking off the designated trail without a permit is prohibited.

Due to the fragile nature of this area and the presence of threatened and endangered plants, walking off the designated trail may cause a negative impact upon these threatened and endangered resources.


o West Beach Succession area - Hiking is restricted to the designated trail only.

Due to the fragile nature of this area and the presence of threatened and endangered plants, walking off the designated trail may cause a negative impact upon these threatened and endangered resources.


o Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk - Hiking is restricted to the beach and designated trail only.

Due to the fragile nature of this area and the presence of threatened and endangered plants, walking off the designated trail may cause a negative impact upon these threatened and endangered resources.


o Dunes Learning Center - Open to scheduled groups and by invitation only. The Dunes Learning Center is closed to the public within the boundaries described as the Little Calumet River to the South, the Little Calumet River Trail to the West and North, and Howe Road to the East.

Area is designated for school age children who stay overnight, and for their protection and safety, the area will be closed to public entry.


o Field Station Cooperative Preschool - Open to scheduled groups and by invitation only. The Field Station Cooperative Preschool is closed to the public within the boundaries designated in Appendix A.

Area is designated for school age children and for their protection and safety, the area will be closed to public entry.


o Mt. Baldy – Area designated in Appendix A is closed to the public but open to ranger-led hikes and programs.

Due to the fragile nature of this area and the presence of threatened and endangered plants, walking off the designated trail may cause a negative impact upon these threatened and endangered resources.


o Gun Range – Entire area is closed to the public. See Appendix A for the designated closed area.

Area presents potential life-threatening hazards.


o Pottawattomie Administrative Site – Entire area is closed to the public. See Appendix A for the designated closed area.

Site is a training area for heavy equipment and All-Terrain vehicles which presents potential life-threatening hazards.
o West Beach Area – When lifeguards are present, Lake Michigan waters are from Lake/Porter County Road to the western edge of Ogden Dunes are closed to public use if and when at least one of the following conditions are met:
 A swim risk category of MODERATE or HIGH by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service is forecasted for either Lake or Porter County.

 Rip currents are observed or physically detected by lifeguards.

 Lighting is observed by lifeguards.

Area has the only designated swim beach in the park and swimming in Lake Michigan during these conditions when lifeguards are present is extremely hazardous and potentially life threatening for both the swimmer and rescuers.
(a)(2) The following areas have been designated for a specific use or activity, under the conditions and/or restrictions as noted:
• West Beach Area
o The designated swimming beach is located within the West Beach area of the park. It is identified by a series of “Swim Area” and “No Boat” buoys approximately 300 feet from the shoreline. The designated area extends approximately 850 feet west and east from the main staircase at the bathhouse. This area is designated a swim beach from Memorial Day through Labor Day (as weather and lake conditions permit). Motorized watercrafts are prohibited from this area.

The use of motorized watercraft in swimming areas is in direct conflict with the safety of swimmers.
o Sledding is only allowed on the trail directly west of the West Beach picnic shelters. The area is designated with park signs. Sledding is prohibited on marram grass and is only permitted when adequate snow cover is present.

Sledding on marram grass and bare sand induces erosion and damage to sensitive plants.

• Camping – Please refer to §2.10 for detailed camping area designations.

• Mask-wearing

When the COVID-19 Community Level is LOW or MEDIUM in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals are not required to wear masks.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in the county or all the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in one or more, but not all, of the counties where the park is located based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.

Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

Regardless of the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Community Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.

Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas.
The following restrictions and/or conditions are in effect for the specific uses or activities noted:

Unmanned Aircraft
• Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Indiana Dunes National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.

Definition: Unmanned Aircraft (UA) - The term "unmanned aircraft" means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

The Superintendent has determined that unmanaged or unrestricted recreational use of UAs within Indiana Dunes National Park will conflict with, or impact, a variety of park uses including visitor experience, health and safety as well as conflicting with, or impacting park resources and values.
Filming Activities

• The following types of filming activities may occur in areas open to the public without a permit and without advance notice to the NPS:
o Outdoor filming activities [outside of areas managed as wilderness] involving five persons or less and equipment that will be carried at all times, except for small tripods used to hold cameras.
• The organizer of any other type of filming activity must provide written notice to the Superintendent at least 10 days prior to the start of the proposed activity. Based upon the information provided, the Superintendent may require the organizer to apply for and obtain a permit if necessary to:

o maintain public health and safety;
o protect environmental or scenic values;

o protect natural or cultural resources;

o allow for equitable allocation and use of facilities; or

o avoid conflict among visitor use activities.
• If the Superintendent determines that the terms and conditions of a permit could not mitigate the concerns identified above in an acceptable manner, the Superintendent may deny a filming request without issuing a permit. The Superintendent will provide the basis for denial in writing upon request.

• The NPS will consider requests and process permit applications in a timely manner. Processing times will vary depending on the complexity of the proposed activity. If the organizer provides the required 10 day advance notice to the NPS and has not received a written response from the NPS that a permit is required prior to the first day of production, the proposed filming activities may occur without a permit.

• The following are prohibited:
o Engaging in a filming activity without providing advance notice to the Superintendent when required.

o Engaging in a filming activity without a permit if [the activity takes place in areas managed as wilderness or if] the Superintendent has notified the organizer in writing that a permit is required.

o Violating a term and condition of a permit issued under this action.
• Violating a term or condition of a permit issued under to this action may also result in the suspension and revocation of the permit by the Superintendent.

Filming activities that involve more than five people and hand carried equipment need to be evaluated to determine if the proposed activity may cause issues with public safety, environment or scenic values, damage to natural or cultural resources, conflict with other visitors and equitable use and access to park areas.

II. 36 CFR §1.6 – ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A PERMIT


(f) The following is a compilation of those activities for which a permit from the superintendent is required:

§2.4(d) Carry or possess a weapon, trap, or net (excluding legal firearms)

§2.5(a) Specimen collection (Take plant, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)

§2.12 Audio Disturbances:
• (a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas

• (a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas

• (a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51
§2.17 Aircraft & Air Delivery:
• (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means
• (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft
§2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money goods or services (Pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51 or §2.52)

§2.38 Explosives:
• (a) Use, possess, store, transport explosives, blasting agents

• (b) Use or possess fireworks
§2.50(a) Conduct a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, and similar events

§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades and other public expressions of views. Maps for these areas are located as Appendix B of this document.

§2.52(c) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising

§2.60(b) Livestock use

§2.61(a) Residing on federal lands

§2.62 Memorialization:
• (a) Erection of monuments (Requires approval from Regional Director)

• (b) Scattering ashes from human cremation
§3.3 Use of a vessel under certain conditions when deemed necessary by taking into consideration public safety, protection of park resources, and weather and park management objectives.

§4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits

§5.1 Advertisements - (Display, posting or distribution.)

§5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (Requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).

§5.5 Still Photography:

• (a) Still photography of vehicles, or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.

§5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads
(The superintendent shall issue a permit to access private lands within or adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available)

§5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, path, structure, etc.

§6.9 (a) Operation of a solid waste disposal site

§7.88(a) Fishing – Unless otherwise designated, fishing in a manner authorized under applicable State law is allowed.

(b) Powerless flight – The use of devices to carry persons through the air in powerless flight is allowed at times and locations designated by the superintendent pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit
 

III. GENERAL REGULATIONS

36 CFR §2.1 - PRESERVATION OF NATURAL, CULTURAL AND ARCHEOLOGICAL RESOURCES


(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas:
• Dunewood Campground

• Dunbar Group Site

These areas are designated as campgrounds with campfires at each site. The dead wood provides needed fuel to sustain a fire.

(b) The following areas are closed to hiking or pedestrian traffic::

• Within marram grass areas

• Closure areas listed in Section 1.5

Traveling on marram grass and into closure areas will damage sensitive plants and hamper restoration efforts.
(c)(1), (c)(2) The following fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use or consumption restrictions:

• All fruits, nuts, berries, and unoccupied seashells may be gathered except for the fruit of the prickly pear cactus.

• No more than a handful may be collected

Gathering more than a handful of fruits, nuts, berries, and unoccupied seashells will adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or adversely affect park resources.

36 CFR §2.2 - WILDLIFE PROTECTION

(e) The following areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

• Parkwide

The use of artificial lights to view wildlife creates unnecessary man-caused stress upon the animals, causing them to change their behavior patterns. The light also can disturb park neighbors, pose a hazard to vehicular traffic and can be a precursor to poaching activities.

36 CFR §2.10 – CAMPING and FOOD STORAGE

(a) The sites and areas listed below have been designated for camping activities as noted. A permit system has been established for certain campgrounds or camping activities, and conditions for camping and camping activities are in effect as noted:

  • Overnight parking or camping is prohibited, except in the Dunewood Campground, Central Avenue Campground, and the Dunbar Administrative Site. Other areas must be authorized by the Superintendent.

In addition to the specific regulations in Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, the following conditions apply to camping activities:

  • Dunewood Campground and Central Avenue Campground
o Registration is restricted to those eighteen years of age or older. The person registering for the site must be an occupant on the site during the stay.

The park has experienced and documented a history of serious incidents and aberrant behavior at Dunewood Campground related to unsupervised juveniles of such magnitude that the diligent application of less stringent regulations over a reasonable time period has not proven to resolve the problem.

o Each camping group must register prior to occupying the selected campsite through the online reservation system. Checkout time is 12 noon.

o Maximum campsite occupancy is eight persons at all times.

o All tents must remain on the provided camping pad. Trailers and other vehicles must remain on the pavement. Bicycles must be walked to the Dunewood walk-in campsites and Central Avenue Campsites.

o Persons visiting campers (those not staying overnight) may not exceed the eight-person occupancy limit and must leave the campground by 10 pm. Vehicles driven by these individuals may not exceed the established occupancy limit.

o Camping occupancy is limited to 14 days in any 30-day period during the camping season.

Because the majority of the park is in close proximity to residential areas, public camping is limited to the developed campground and the Dunbar Administrative Site. Policies related to registration times and camping limitations are established to avoid conflicts between visitors, to provide for protection of the resource and compatible use.

36 CFR 2.13 – FIRES

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is generally prohibited, except as provided for in the following designated areas and/or receptacles, and under the conditions noted:

Designated Areas:
  • West Beach Picnic Shelters near the southwest parking lot
  • West Beach Picnic Area near Contact Station
  • Tremont Picnic Shelters
  • Glenwood Dune Picnic Shelters
  • Lake View Picnic Shelters
  • Chellberg Farm Picnic Shelters
  • Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk (PLRW) Pavilion
  • Dunewood Campground sites
  • Dunbar Group Campground
  • Central Avenue Campground community fire ring
  • Reservation of Use, Lease, park owned dormitories, and Special Use Permit residences
Receptacles Allowed:
  • Cooking/Warming fires are permitted in NPS provided grills, approved grills (noncombustible container with a minimum container depth of 2", enclosed sides, and a bottom), or NPS fireplace at the PLRW.
  • Residential burning of leaves or wood products is prohibited park wide. In rare situations, the Fire Management Officer may approve and issue a Burning Permit for Reservation of Use, Lease, and Special Use Permit residences at no charge when an appropriate container cannot be utilized, or removal of debris is impractical. Only leaves or wood may be burned.
Established Conditions for Fires:
  • Only wood or charcoal may be burned in cooking or warming fires.
  • Warming fires shall not be placed within ten feet of flammable materials.
  • If fires create an air pollution problem, a nuisance, or a fire hazard, they shall be extinguished.
The above noted limitations on fires are in place to protect park visitors, neighbors and resources from wildfire.

(b) Fires must be extinguished according to the following conditions:
  • Charcoal and other fire remains from all fires must be cooled and safely disposed of in a noncombustible container or removed from the area. Extinguishing fires in any other manner increases the chance of an injury to persons or property.

36 CFR §2.15 – PETS

(a)(1) The following structures and/or areas are closed to the possession of pets:
  • West Beach – From Memorial Day through Labor Day, pets are prohibited on the beach within the lifeguarded area. This area is the section of beach directly north of the bathhouse stairs and will be designated along the beach with park signs. Pets are only permitted to walk through the lifeguarded area to reach the beaches on either side of the closure area.
  • Glenwood Dune Trail
  • Pinhook Bog Trail
  • Nature play areas. These are located on the east side of the Douglas Center main parking lot and within the Mather and Douglas loops of the Dunewood campground.
Pet restrictions and closures are in place to allow for compatible use of areas, threats to wildlife, damage to sensitive plants and to cooperate with local and state regulations. A service animal is any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not considered service animals.

(a)(5) Pet excrement must be disposed of in accordance with the following conditions:
  • All pet excrement must be picked up and properly disposed of in trash receptacles.

36 CFR §2.16 – HORSES and PACK ANIMALS


(b) The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:
  • Glenwood Dune Trail and parking lot is open from March 16 through December 14 for horseback riding. However, if there is sufficient snow cover for cross-country skiing (3 inches or more) before December 15 or after March 15, the trail will remain closed to horseback riding.
  • No horses are permitted west of the Glenwood Dune trail system (as posted) or west of Hadenfeldt Road.
  • Horseback riding is prohibited on all other roads and areas in the park.

    The riding of horses within the park is limited by available parking that is suitable to horse trailers. Additionally, limitations are in place to avoid conflicts between riders and other trail users and to protect sensitive areas from damage.
(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses or pack animals:
  • All horse excrement must be removed from the parking lot and picnic area of the Glenwood Dune area.
    The excrement in an area where visitors walk and picnic poses a safety hazard.

36 CFR §2.35 – ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

(a)(3)(i) The following public use areas, portions of public use areas, and/or public facilities within the park are closed to consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or to the possession of a bottle, can or other receptacle containing an alcoholic beverage that is open, or has been opened, or whose seal has been broken or the contents of which have been partially removed:
  • Porter Beach – From May 20, 2022 through September 12, 2022
o Area is defined from Wabash Avenue to the State Park Boundary and from 300 feet north of the Lake Michigan Shoreline to Roskin Road.

The Porter Beach area has seen an increase in drunken behavior that has contributed to disorderly conduct, harassment, and violence to include assaults.
  • All National Park Service Buildings (excluding active Reservation of Use, Lease, Special Use Permit properties and NPS dormitory facilities).

    Park buildings are places of business and use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages is deemed inappropriate.
  • Dunes Learning Center/Cooperative Field Station Preschool.

    These park buildings are used primarily by minors and the use and/or possession of alcoholic beverages is deemed inappropriate.

36 CFR §3.8 – VESSEL OPERATIONS

(a)(2) : Launching or recovery of a vessel are permitted in the following areas:
  • Non-powered vessels are permitted to be launched under the following circumstances:
o Vessels of a single hull design must be carried to the water on designated, government provided walkways and stairs. Vessels may not be dragged over any dunes. Loading and unloading may not take place along any roadway.
The park beach does not have any areas that are appropriate for launching power driven vessels. There are no paved access points that would allow for this use without creating significant resource damage and visitor use conflicts. Dragging large vessels from parking lots onto the beach creates significant hazards to public safety and resource protection.

36 CFR §3.23 – SCUBA AND SNORKELING

(a) SCUBA diving and snorkeling is permitted in the following swimming, docking, and mooring areas under the terms and conditions noted:
  • SCUBA diving is permitted in Lake Michigan, excluding the designated swimming beach at West Beach.
Due to limited visibility near shore, the potential for SCUBA divers to inadvertently injure swimmers in the water is high.

36 CFR §4.11 – VEHICLE LOAD, WEIGHT AND SIZE LIMITS

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the roads indicated under the terms and conditions, and/or under permit as noted:
  • The maximum weight limit for vehicles using these parking areas will not exceed 32,000 GVW (excluding school buses and emergency vehicles):
o Mt. Baldy, Central, Great Marsh, Lake View, Dunbar, Kemil, Tremont, Porter, Cowles Bog, Mnoke Prairie and Tolleston Dune.
These parking lots are not designed to accommodate vehicles of this weight. This restrictive limit also protects the road surface.

36 CFR §4.21 – SPEED LIMITS

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:
  • West Beach Access Road – 25 Miles Per Hour (MPH)
  • Furnessville Road – 25 MPH
  • Kemil Road – 35 MPH
  • Central Avenue – 30 MPH
  • All other roads are as posted
These restrictive speed limits are done to improve road traffic safety and reduce the number of road traffic casualties from traffic collisions.

36 CFR §4.30 – BICYCLES

(a): Park roads and parking areas are open to bicycle use. Bicycles are prohibited on all other lands and trails except as follows:
  • Marquette Trail
  • Porter Brickyard Trail
  • Calumet Trail
  • West Beach trail leading from Ogden Dunes to the Long Lake parking lot
Bicycles use may be allowed in developed areas so long as it is consistent with park values. The listed trails are in developed areas and riding bicycles on these trails is consistent with park values. No other trails in the park meet this regulatory standard. Bicycle use on natural resources and areas not specifically designated for them promotes erosion and destruction of that resource.

(i): E-Bikes
  • E-bikes are only allowed in the locations specified in section 36 CFR §4.30(a) - BICYCLES of this compendium.
 

Appendix A
Public Closure Areas

 
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area: Mount Baldy Dune
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area: Mount Baldy Dune

Google

Public Closure Area: Mount Baldy Dune

 
Field Station Cooperative Preschool Closed Area
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area: Field Station Cooperative Preschool

Google

Public Closure Area: Field Station Cooperative Preschool

 
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area: Gun Range
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area: Gun Range

Google

Public Closure Area: Gun Range

 
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area Pottawattomie Administrative Site
Arial Photo of Public Closure Area Pottawattomie Administrative Site

Google

Public Closure Area: Pottawattomie Administrative Site

 

Appendix B
Approved Public Assembly Area Maps

 
Arial Photo of Approved Public Assembly Area Park Headquarters Front Lawn
Arial Photo of Approved Public Assembly Area Park Headquarters Front Lawn

Google

Approved Public Assembly Area: Park Headquarters (front lawn)

 
Arial Photo of Approved Public Assembly Area Chellberg Farm Picnic Area Front Lawn
Arial Photo of Approved Public Assembly Area Chellberg Farm Picnic Area Front Lawn

Google

Approved Public Assembly Area: Chellberg Farm: Picnic Area (front lawn)

 
Arial Photo of Approved Public Assembly Area Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Roundabout Sidewalk
Arial Photo of Approved Public Assembly Area Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Roundabout Sidewalk

NPS

Approved Public Assembly Area: Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk (Roundabout Sidewalk)

 
Arial photo of Approved Public Assembly Area West Beach Walkway Northwest of Picnic Area
Arial photo of Approved Public Assembly Area West Beach Walkway Northwest of Picnic Area

Google

Approved Public Assembly Area: West Beach Walkway Northwest of Picnic Area

Last updated: October 4, 2022

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1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter , IN 46304

Phone:

219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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