Fishing is allowed under federal, state and local laws. You need an Indiana Fishing License and a stamp if fishing for trout and salmon. Watch for drop-offs in creeks and along beaches.
Boaters must stay 500 feet away from marked swimming areas, even when beaching. Nearby communities offer boat-launches. Personal watercraft are prohibited.
For additional information about fishing we recommend visiting the following web links:
Sailing & Powerboating
Sailing and power boating are popular on Lake Michigan. There are no marinas, boat rentals or boat launches within the national park. There are services are available through commercial and city facilities in Porter, Lake and LaPorte counties. Check these county tourism links for information.
Kayaking is increasingly popular on Lake Michigan since the inception of the Lake Michigan Water Trail and in area waterways like the Little Calumet River and Burns Waterway. Try a new challenge by kayaking the Little Calumet River Water Trail: East Branch. Launching hand-carried, non-motorized boats from any Indiana Dunes National Park beach is permitted with the exception West Beach's lifeguarded swimming area (Friday of Memorial Day weekend through the Monday of Labor Day weekend). Lake Michigan’s water conditions can quickly change from calm to dangerous, so check the weather forecast and always use a certified personal flotation device.
Canoeing is also popular on the region's rivers, lakes, and waterways. Paddling on Lake Michigan can be especially dangerous due to frequent windy conditions and large waves.
SafetyBoating recreation at Indiana Dunes National Park can be fun for everyone, but it is very important to always remember to prepare and practice safety while boating on the lake at all times. To learn more about practicing boat safety, please visit the National Weather Services' Boating Safety Tips and Resources page.
Last updated: November 13, 2023