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In 2011, the National Park Service will implement changes to fees at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The public had a chance to comment on the proposed fee changes last fall. The fees were determined through application of National Park Service laws and policies, a comparison to those charged for similar services in this region, and public input.
The 2011 services and fees are:
- Camping at the Dunewood Campground will remain unchanged at $15 a day with discounts for those with federal lands senior and disabled visitor passes.
- A new group camping site will be developed within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. This service is in response to public requests for a group campsite that can accommodate groups larger than the eight-person sites in the park’s Dunewood Campground. When the campsite is developed the charge for group use of the site will be $30 per night. The location of the site has not yet been determined and there will be an opportunity for public comment on proposed locations.
- New kayak lockers will be installed at the shore to allow visitors to secure kayaks overnight. The fee for using the lockers will be $5 per day.
- The fee for summer use of West Beach will remain at $6.00 per car and $20.00 per bus. The $1.00 fee for pedestrian entry or a bicycle entry is eliminated. Due to restrictions in the regulations authorizing the National Park Service to collect fees, there will no longer be an option for an annual pass. The fee at West Beach is an “expanded amenity fee” for the bath house and the life guards provided at that site. Under current regulations, annual passes cannot be offered for expanded amenity fees.
The proposed per-event fee of $250 for group use of park facilities, including the pavilion at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk site, was dropped from consideration after public comments. The proposed fee of $5 per car for special events, such as the Duneland Heritage Days, was not approved by the Director of the National Park Service.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is one of 394 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. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/INDU .