Special Use Permits

Special Park Uses are activities that take place within a national park outside typical and ordinary use. These events may include activities such as weddings, commercial filming and sales activities. Special Park Use activities may only take place with written authorization from the National Park Service in the form of a Special Use Permit, Commercial Filming Permit or a Commercial Use Authorization.

Permit Criteria:

While many activities are appropriate for a national park, our regulations outline what types of activities are allowed. Criteria for permissible activities as well as answers to many questions about permits are available here: Download Special Park Uses FAQ


There are some special considerations that relate to weddings. Persons interested in hosting a wedding ceremony will find answers to the most common questions here: Download Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Wedding FAQ

Permit Application:

We can accept a permits application at least three weeks but no more than six months prior to the proposed event. Your application must include a non-refundable payment for the costs of processing the application. This payment is $65.00 for simple activities and $200.00 for more complex events. Additional charges may also apply. Submitting an application does not guarantee the activity will be approved.

If you are not sure your activity needs a permit or have other questions, please contact the Chief Ranger's Office at 219-395-1644.


Due to ongoing dune restoration efforts, flight permits are suspended. New permits are not available and current permits are suspended. We will post updated information as conditions change.



Anglers interested in building a traditional cooking fire must obtain a permit. These are available during normal business hours at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center, Bailly Ranger Station, 1215 N. State Road 49, Porter, Indiana 46404


Anglers interested in fishing at this location after park closure hours must obtain a permit. These are available during normal business hours at the following locations:

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Park Headquarters
1100 N. Mineral Springs Road

Porter, Indiana 46403

City of Portage Parks Department, Woodland Park

2100 Willowcreek Road
Portage, IN 46368

· This permit waives closure hours for permitted anglers actively engaged in fishing.
· Permit must be carried and the dashboard card must be displayed while in the park.
· Permit is valid at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk only

Last updated: January 4, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304


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

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