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A record setting 2,165,605 visits were made to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in 2010. This is an 11.8% increase over 2009 and the most number of visits ever recorded in a single year for the region’s only national park.
“Surveys show that approximately 80% of the park’s visitors are not from the local area,” said superintendent Costa Dillon, “that means some 1.6 million of these visits are from people outside Northwest Indiana contributing to the local economy through tourism spending.”
Nearly half a million visitors came to the park in July, the park’s busiest month, and June and August saw over 300,000 in each month. The Dunewood Campground had 23,439 people stay at least one night either in a tent or a camper. The 2010 survey of park visitor satisfaction revealed that 91% rated the park’s recreation opportunities as good or very good.
The most visited area of the park was the Lake Michigan shoreline. Visits to individual sites included 172, 840 at Mount Baldy, 118,743 to the Bailly/Chellberg area, 176,920 at West Beach, and 140,304 at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.
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 .