Central Avenue Beach at Indiana Dunes National Park

Central Beach
Central Avenue Beach at low water levels.
 

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Parking and Hours

Central Avenue Beach

41.701488, -86.948473
SPACES
68 Total
0 Oversized
Paved parking lot with 68 parking spaces. 0 spaces are accessible. An entrance pass, annual pass, or lifetime is needed to park in this lot. Visit https://www.nps.gov/indu/planyourvisit/fees.htm for more information.
7 Day Motorcycle Fee
Per motorcycle (valid for 1-7 days from date of purchase).
Cost: $20.00
7-Day Park Entrance Pass - Family-Size Vehicle Pass
Per private family-sized vehicle (valid for 1-7 days from date of purchase).
Cost: $25.00
7-Day Per Person Entrance Pass (Organized, non-commercial groups)
Visitors 16 years of age or older who enter on foot, bicycle, boat, or as part of an organized group not involved in a commercial tour.
Cost: $15.00
Indiana Dunes National Park Annual Pass
This pass provides entry for the pass owner(s) and passengers in a family-sized vehicle. This pass only works at the Indiana Dunes National Park and is not accepted at the Indiana Dunes State Park.
Cost: $45.00
Annual Pass (Interagency)
Interagency passes like America the Beautiful and The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series.
Cost: $80.00
Annual Military Pass (Interagency)
Active, Veteran or Gold Star Family.
Cost: $0.00
Annual Fourth Grade Pass for US Students in Fourth Grade
Every Kid in a Park (EKIP), an initiative to encourage 4th grade children and their families to enjoy our country’s national parks and public lands, for FREE.
Cost: $0.00
Annual Senior Pass (Interagency)
The senior pass is available for citizens above the age of 62.
Cost: $20.00
Lifetime Senior Pass (Interagency)
A one-time fee for senior citizens above the age of 62.
Cost: $80.00
Lifetime Access Pass
The Access Pass is a free, lifetime pass available to United States citizens or permanent residents, regardless of age, that have a permanent disability.
Cost: $0.00
Standard Hours
Sun: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Mon: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Tue: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Wed: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Thu: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Fri: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sat: From 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM

During the peak season (Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend), the parking lot can fill up fast.

Amenities:
Accessible Lot: No
Number of ADA-designated spaces: 0
Number of ADA van-accessible spaces: 0
Number of ADA step-free spaces: 0
Total number of spaces: 68
Number of oversize vehicle spaces: 0
   
   
The parking lot is paved. There are no accessible parking spaces.
 
 

Getting There

Central Avenue Beach Parking Lot
One mile north of the intersection of Central Avenue and U.S. Highway 12 in the Town of Pines.

Need to Know

  • Facilities – Seasonal restrooms and potable water.
  • Prohibited – Glass and fires on the beach, littering.
  • Prohibited – Removing plants, rocks, shells, and fossils.
  • Parking lot is paved.
  • There are two picnic tables at the west end of the parking lot up the stairs.

Safety

  • Please stay on the trail and respect closed area signs. Going off trail damages fragile habitat.
  • Visitors are strongly urged to safely remain on the beach area and not to climb up on the dune slopes directly behind the beach.
  • Ticks are present year-round. Take precautionary measures to prevent bites.
  • Poison ivy can be present on the edges of the parking lot and on the trails to the beach.
  • In case of an emergency or to report a crime, call 1-800-PARK-TIP.

Accessibility

  • The restrooms are wheelchair accessible. The beach and picnic tables are not wheelchair accessible.

Visitor Activities
  • Swimming. No lifeguards. Swim at your own risk; rip currents and waves can make swimming hazardous.
  • During the spring and summer, watch the Bank Swallows come and go from their nests in the dunes.

Nearby Beaches


 
 
Rip Tides Poster

Rip Currents:

Be on the lookout this summer for rip currents on Lake Michigan.

Before your next visit to the beach, learn how to spot a rip current and what to do if you get caught in one. Always check the local beach forecast for any warnings, and exercise caution.

IF CAUGHT IN A RIP CURRENT

♦ Don't fight the current
♦ Swim out of the current, then to shore
♦ If you can't escape, float or tread water
♦ If you need help, call or wave for assistance

SAFETY

♦ Know how to swim
♦ Never swim alone
♦ If in doubt, don't go out
More information about rip currents can be found at the following websites: www.ripcurrents.noaa.gov and www.usla.org

Last updated: June 28, 2022

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter , IN 46304

Phone:

219 395-1882
Indiana Dunes Visitor Center phone number.

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