Major sites within the park that are accessible with assistance include:
Accessible parking and restroom services are available throughout the park. A standard wheelchair is available for loan at the Paul H. Douglas Center.
The following picnic areas are accessible:
Indiana Dunes National Park has made significant achievements in providing access to beach areas. However, access to the waters of Lake Michigan pose challenging accessibility problems. The following beach areas have limited accessibility:
Thanks to a generous Make-A-Wish Foundation donation with major financial assistance from Friends of Indiana Dunes, an accessible beach mat is seasonally installed at Indiana Dunes State Park. This ADA beach mat allows wheelchair/pedestrian-friendly, rigid and non-slip access to the water’s edge from both the main parking lot and the West lot. Please note that Indiana Dunes State Park requires a seperate entrance fee.
A good place to look for the latest information on accessibility is the Disabled Traveler's Companion Website. While not officially affiliated with the National Park Service, they have been working with Indiana Dunes National Park and other National Parks to provide valuable information to the disabled traveler. Their website contains information on, and photographs of, campgrounds, lodges and park attractions that will aid in planning your trip to the national park.
Whether you use a wheelchair, need assistance with hearing, or can’t maneuver the sand with your walker, we have a variety of services available for increased accessibility. Call 219 395-1824 or 219 395-1882 for information and use.
Great Trails and Accessible Views
Recreational ADA Equipment
All equipment can be reserved (Temporarily Unavailable) at no cost by calling the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education at (219) 395-1821. The WHEELEZ Beach Wheelchair is available on a walk-in basis only at the West Beach bathhouse. A park ranger or lifeguard will assist the users in setting up the equipment and will provide more information on where and for how long each device can be used. Donations to this cause are encouraged at causesforchange.org.
The Freedom Trax is a single-person, user controlled, motorized dual track that a wheel chair attaches to. It can be adjusted to fit most wheelchairs. In the event that the user’s chair is not compatible, staff will provide one. It can be checked out at the Paul H. Douglas center and used on the Paul H. Douglas trail. Is capable of climbing moderate inclines. It cannot be used on the beach or sand dunes, however. Battery life lasts approximately 3 hours. Print or view Freedom Trax trail map.
The Zoom Chair is a single-person, motorized vehicle capable of riding on moderate trails and the beach. This vehicle has forward and reverse gears, headlights and taillights, three different speed options, and a parking brake. It can be used on portions of the Paul H. Douglas trail, the Harbor Belt, or can be taken on Lake Street to the Lake Street Beach. This vehicle is not intended for children. Print or view Zoom Chair trail map
GRIT Freedom Chair
The GRIT Freedom Chair is a wheelchair that may be pushed or operated manually by the user via propulsion handles. This trail can be used on easy to moderate trails and is capable of ascending moderate inclines. It is recommended that this chair is used by someone with reasonable upper-body strength and also requires a chaperone. This can be checked out at the Paul H. Douglas Center.
HUKA Orion Twin Tandem
The HUKA Orion Twin Tandem is a two-person, side-by-side tricycle that can be operated by one or two users via pedals. It is also equipped with a three-speed assistive motor. This machine operates on wide, paved pathways such as streets and bike trails. It cannot be used on hiking trails or sand. It can be taken from the Paul H. Douglas Center to the Marquette bike trail or the Octave Chanute bike trail. Print or view Chanute trail map.
Hand TricycleThe Hand Tricycle is a single-person, manually powered trike that is propelled using handles. It is limited to flat surfaces such as roads and bike trails. It can be taken from the Paul H. Douglas Center to the Marquette bike trail or the Octave Chanute bike trail. Print or view Chanute trail map.
Dulie Tandem Bike
The Dulie Tandem bike is two-person, front and back bicycle operated with the feet using pedals. It is limited to flat surfaces such as roads and bike trails. It can be taken from the Paul H. Douglas Center to the Marquette bike trail or the Octave Chanute bike trail. Print or view Chanute trail map.
Hippocampe Blue Blazer
The Hippocampe Blue Blazer is a single-person, push chair designed for children with mobility and upper-body support issues. It comes equipped with head stabilizers and tires suitable to be used one easy to moderate trails. It requires chaperone to push the chair.
WHEELEZ Beach Wheelchair
The WHEELEZ Beach Wheelchair is a single-person wheelchair capable of traversing beach sand and is also capable of entering the water. It requires a chaperone to push the chair. This device is available on a walk-in basis only at the West Beach bathhouse through the lifeguards stationed there.
Reservations (Temporarily Unavailable)
Call the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education at (219) 395-1821. All equipment can be reserved at no cost. The WHEELEZ Beach Wheelchair is available on a walk-in basis only at the West Beach bathhouse.
Audio Described BrochureListen to an audio described version of the park brochure, or search your app store for the free UniDescription app, which was created to make all national park maps more accessible for the visually impaired.
Last updated: August 23, 2023