Accessibility

Woman riding wheelchair equipment with group of people following her.
Example of Freedom Trax in action.

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:

  • West Beach (a beach wheel chair can be checked out from the lifeguards).
  • Lake View (the picnic shelters and overlook are accessible).
 
disabled_travelers_icon_1
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.
 

Access for All

Helpful Accessiblity Guide

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.

Mobility

Two Seated Bicycle

Paul H. Douglas Center

*Freedom Trax – A motorized wheelchair attachment that is all-terrain and fits to your chair. The electrical track is steered by a joystick.

*Youth Wheel Chair for rougher terrain. This chair must be pushed or pulled.

Large Wheeled Beach Wheelchair – Just ask staff at entrance gate for use. (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

West Beach

Hearing

Ubi-Duo device—visitors can type questions on a shared screen

Indiana Dunes Visitor Center

Closed Caption Park Video

Great Trails and Accessible Views

A predominantly cement walkway and provides a nice path on nearby terrain. The pier is designed for universal access and is a great spot for bird watching.

Portage Lake Front and Riverwalk

Fully accessible walking and allows visitors to view two marsh areas, picnic area, and a play zone.

Paul H. Douglas Center

Provides a ramp down to the sand and has easy access to restrooms and picnic shelters.

West Beach

Allows visitors of all abilities to enjoy great views of the lake and accessible picnic shelters.

Lake View

*Equipment made possible in coordination with Dunes Learning Center and/or Miller Spotlight.

 

Recreational ADA Equipment

All equipment can be reserved 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.

 
A motorized dual track wheel chair attachment.
The Freedom Trax.

Freedom Trax

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.

 
A photo of The Zoom Chair.
The Zoom Chair

Zoom Chair

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

 
Photo of the GRIT Freedom Chair.
The GRIT Freedom Chair.

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.

 
A photo of The HUKA Orion Twin Tandem.
HUKA Orion Twin Tandem.

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.

 
Photo of Hand Tricycle.
Hand Tricycle

Hand Tricycle

The 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.
 
Photo Dulie Tandem bike
Dulie Tandem Bike

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.

 
A photo of the Hippocampe Blue Blazer.
Hippocampe Blue Blazer

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.

 
Photo of WHEELEZ Beach Wheelchair.
WHEELEZ Beach Wheelchair

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.

 

For Reservations

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.

Last updated: September 15, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304

Phone:

(219) 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

Contact Us