Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk Beach

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Trail

Getting There

Portage Lakefront Parking Lot
100 Riverwalk Road, Portage, IN 46368
Directions starting from the intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and State Route 249:
Take SR 249 north and take the bridge over U.S. Highway 12 towards the U.S. Steel and Precoat Metals businesses. Turn left at the stop sign and cross over Burns Waterway. Once over the waterway, turn right immediately and head north, towards the lake, passing the entrance sign. Park only in public designated parking spots to help protect the fragile dune ecosystem along the roadside.
GPS Coordinates
41.630994, -87.178383 (Decimal Degrees)

Need to Know

  • Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 30 minutes past sunset.
  • Free (no access fee).
  • The removal of rocks, shells, and fossils is strictly prohibited.
  • There are year round restrooms and potable water in the pavilion.
  • 3,500 square foot public pavilion includes restrooms, a seasonal snack bar and a glass walled classroom/meeting space.
  • There are three paved parking lots with a total of 125 spots.
  • During the busy summer season, the parking lots are often full by mid-morning.
  • Pets are not permitted on the beach.
  • Pets, except for service animals, are not permitted inside the pavilion.
  • Pets on a leash are permitted on the paved trail, breakwater, fishing platform, riverwalk and parking areas.
  • Alcohol is not permitted.
  • Glass containers are prohibited on all beaches.
  • Pavilion, trails, 900-foot breakwall and fishing pier are wheelchair accessible.

Visitor Activities

  • Swimming. No lifeguards. Swim at your own risk; rip currents and waves can make swimming hazardous.
  • Hike the paved Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk Trail for great views of Lake Michigan.
  • The riverwalk and breakwater walkway areas are closed to public use from the last Monday of November through March 1st each year and at other times when ice and snow are present.

Nearby Beaches

History and Background

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk was opened in October 2008. The redevelopment of the site, formerly used by a steel corporation as settling ponds for industrial byproduct and a sewage treatment facility, is a successful model of brownfield reclamation.The land, buildings, and facilities at the site are owned by the National Park Service and operated in partnership with the City of Portage. To learn more about public programs offered there, contact the Portage Parks and Recreation Department at (219) 762-1675, extension 301.

Boundry Areas and Other Information

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk area is defined from the Burns Waterway to the eastern edge Ogden Dunes and from a line 300 feet north of the shoreline of Lake Michigan to the south where the park meets private property. Associated parking lots are open to the public from 8 am to 30 minutes after sunset daily. This area is open at all times to those actively engaged in fishing. The riverwalk and breakwater walkway areas are closed to public use when ice and snow are present, except by authorization of the Park's Superintendent.

Last updated: January 11, 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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