Central Avenue Beach at Indiana Dunes National Park

Central Beach
Central Avenue Beach at low water levels.
 

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Parking and Hours

Parking Lot

Central Avenue Beach

  • 68 total spaces
  • 0 oversized spaces
  • 41.701488, -86.948473
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

Description

Closures & Seasonal Exceptions

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
 

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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