Indiana Dunes State Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Bathhouse before the summer rush.
    Bathhouse before the summer rush.
    by Toughluck
  • Beachgoers (with metal detectors)
    Beachgoers (with metal detectors)
    by Toughluck
  • Dunes Creek
    Dunes Creek
    by Toughluck

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Indiana Dunes State Park

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    Winter in the Dunes

    by Toughluck Written Mar 27, 2014
    Dunes Creek
    4 more images

    Winter on Lake Michigan is an unexpected beauty. It can be blinding in the winter sun or dark and grey when it's overcast. Anytime, you'll find yourself alone on large stretches of the beach. Wind off the lake make is cold, even on sunny days.

    Stay off the ice shelf. Here, the shelf is over 60 ft (20 m) wide. The high ridge is near the 2nd sandbar. That's 5-10 ft (1-1.5 m) of water below. Fall through and you'll never get backup through the vertical tunnel you made. The dark line just inside along the white snowy ice is the 1st sandbar. Here, the water is 1-3 ft (0.4-1 m) deep. But it's narrow and drops another 3 ft (1 m) on either side. Odds are, you'll fall through the ice and slip under the shelf. BEST advice - stay on the beach. Note: just because is looks like sand doesn't mean it isn't ice underneath. Watch for the wave line (a drop of 1-2 ft [0.5-1 m]). Beyond it is mostly like the ice shelf.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • goingsolo's Profile Photo

    Chelberg Farm and Beilly homestead

    by goingsolo Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Indiana Dunes

    IN the far corner of the National Lakeshore, away from beaches and dunes, sits an exhibit which preserves the old buildings which once housed the immigrant Chelberg family. The Swedish immigrants arrived in the late 1800s and set up a farming community on this midwest soil. You can tour the old home used by the family and learn more about their efforts to cultivate the land. Long before the Chleberg's were farming the land, trader Joseph Beilly built a trading post for Native Americans and Europeans, and, later, Americans. The Beilly homestead is the last remaining building of Beilly's 18th century homesteading of the area.

    There are short trails leading to the Chelberg Farm and the Beilly homestead. Most people prefer the sand dunes to this historical portion of the national park. But for those that enjoy learning about those who were here before, this is a good detour to take.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    See a 'Blowout' in the Dunes

    by Toughluck Updated Jul 6, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Blowout in the State Park's east end.

    Take the long hike on trail #10. It follows the beach front from one end of the park to the other. Along the way, you'll have a chance to see a 'blowout'. This is a natural phenomenon, where the wind gets under the roots of the dune grass and/or trees and begins to cut into the dune. After a winter of heavy wind, the 'blowout' had begun. Each winter, the sand cuts further into the dunes, opening up a single valley that can cut across one or more dune ridges. The area can become shelter for wildlife and eventually grass. As the grass takes hold, trees then begin to appear and slowly, the blowout stabalizes and comes to a stand-still.

    Once again the dunes may start to grow in this area, or the 'blowout' can remain stable for decades.

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    • National/State Park

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    Ship Wrecks

    by Toughluck Written Dec 8, 2006

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    Propeller
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    Lake Michigan offers an easy way to get around the midwest, until the wind picks up and the storms blow in. Literally, the storms blow in with high winds and pounding waves. Standing on the shore, watching the waves crash can be an exilerating experience. Too many times, that experience has taken place on board a ship plowing through those same waves as they roll towards shore. There have been numerous ship wrecks across the lake with several along this shore.

    Outside the Nature Center, just north of the parking lot is a memorial to these wrecks. A 19th century screw (propeller) lies under a tree and a plaque describes the fate of the J.D. Marshall. It's a brief stop, worth the time.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

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    The historic bathhouse

    by Toughluck Written Nov 2, 2006
    A common view
    2 more images

    While the bathhouse tends to be right there, 'in your face', it is often overlooked, because it's right there. Built in the 1930's, it retains some of the aura of when evening dinner and dances were the why to 'woo' your girl. The upstairs once housed a wonderful restaurant with dancing every weekend through the summer. There was a companion lodge to the west where the 2nd beach parking lot is and the park was the center of nightlife in Porter County.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • sambarnett's Profile Photo

    Revolution

    by sambarnett Written Feb 27, 2003
    war

    A minor battle of the American Revolutionary War took place here in the Dunes. A marker, erected by the Indiana branch of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) reads:
    At Le Petit Fort, near this site, a battle was fought on December 5, 1780 between American forces under the command of Lt. Thomas Brady and Jean Baptiste Hamelin and British forces under the command of Dahreau de Quindre.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • sambarnett's Profile Photo

    Lookout tower

    by sambarnett Written Sep 15, 2002
    Mount Tom

    Climb the green lookout tower for great views of the lake, the park and western part of the shoreline. In the spring and fall, when there aren't many leaves on the trees, the lookout tower offers a good place to watch the sunset.

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Indiana Dunes State Park Off The Beaten Path

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