Portage Travel Guide

  • Portage
    by Toughluck
  • Things to Do
    by Toughluck
  • Things to Do
    by Toughluck

Portage Things to Do

  • Take the Family to West Beach

    Each beach along the Indiana coast line has a unique flavor. West Beach, with a picnic ground, bathhouse, vending machine, and beach assistants makes this a great place for families and many do visit. Busiet by mid-day, you'll find late afternoons and early evenings best if you want fewer people. You'll hear Spanish as well as English on this and...

  • Dunes Succession Trail

    The Dune Succession trail is a loop that runs from the parking lot through the dunes on the east to the beach and then back along the bathhouse road to the parking area. While short (0.9 miles - 1.5 km), it climbs to the top of the dunes along the route.The trail is unique in that it takes you through the changing dune environment. Beginning in the...

  • Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    Indiana has 25 miles of Lake Michigan Shoreline. Much of it was turned over to industry for economic development. But, nearly half has been set aside as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the Indiana Dunes State Park, and Marquette Park.A good place to start is the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center on S.R. 49 at U.S. 12, just north of I-94.

  • Marquette Trail

    This paved, 2.1 mile one-way trail runs between West Beach and Grand Street in Miller. Primarily for bikers, it's still a good hike, passing through areas of the National Park System you can't reach by car.

  • Prairie Duneland Trail: Portage Section

    A former rail line, this is one of the best "rails-to-trails" bike paths I have ever ridden. The entire trail runs almost nine miles, from the Lake-Porter County border into Chesterton. The five-mile Portage section is the most interesting; the city having gone far above and beyond duty by placing fascinating interpretive signs explaining a wide...

  • West Beach: Long Lake Trail

    This flat, easy and scenic 1.6 mile trail starts at the north end of Long Lake and passes through more areas recovering from sand-mining. Great views of the intradunal lake and the pretty forest that surrounds it.

  • West Beach: Dune Succession Trail

    On this 0.9 mile trail you find good examples of the diversity of the Indiana Dunes, as arctic plants grow right next to cacti. The terrain is quite varied too, covering exposed dunes on the beach, forest-covered back dunes and intradunal ponds.   Self-guiding brochures explain dune and plant succession, the natural process by which a landscape is...

  • West Beach: West Beach Trail

    This 1.4 mile loop trail traverses and includes a couple of dune climbs. An observation deck offers nice views of the lakeshore and (on clear days) the Chicago skyline. The trails also passes through a flat area, before the establishment of the National Lakeshore in 1966 the area was used in sand mining operations. As you can see from the picture,...

  • West Beach

    This popular beach offers some of the best interperative hiking in the entire national lakeshore system in addition to plenty of room for beach bumming.    There is also a beach house, containing bathrooms, pay phones and a seasonal snack bar. The beach is open until 9 PM from May 1 to September 30, the rest of the year it closes at sunset....


Portage Hotels

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Portage Transportation

  • Drive, there is no public...

    Drive, there is no public transportation throughout town. We have the South Shore Line electric train system just north of the city which travels from Chicago, Illinois to South Bend, Indiana.Also a shuttle-bus service to Chicago airports from here.Easily manuvered by car.

  • South Shore line

    There are two South Shore Line stops near Portage, neither of them convienient for reaching the sights mention on this page. Two and a half miles west is the Miller station, in the Miller section of Gary. Two miles east is the Ogden Dunes stop. Both are more suited for people comuting to Chicago for work.

  • Portage Hotels

    9 Hotels in Portage

Portage Warnings and Dangers

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    Rip Currents

    by Toughluck Written Jan 18, 2008

    Each summer there is one or more deaths along the shores of Lake Michigan. These drownings usually occur when there is a strong rip current. STAY OUT OF THE WATER when rip currents might be present.

    What is a RIP CURRENT? A rip current is a strong rush of water from the shore, directly out into the lake. It can be running at only 2 or 3 miles per hour, but that is faster than a person can swim. Even the strongest swimmer will become exhausted working against such a current.

    How to RECOGNIZE the potential for a Rip current! Commonly, rip currents set up when there is a strong north wind. Along other shorelines, look to see if the wind is blowing directly on-shore.

    Sandy beaches usually have a sand bar out from the shoreline. It can be 20' out or 100' out. Regardless, this sand bar creates a 'lagoon' of water between it and the beach. normally, water is pushed into the beach by the wind on the surface. It returns from the 'lagoon' by flowing under the surface, but over the top of the sand bar. When the wind is blowing directly on-shore, water accumulates int he 'lagoon' faster than it can rush over the top of the sand bar. When the pressure in the lagoon builts up, the weakest spot along the sand bar will collapse and the water forms a strong 'rip' current flowing back out into the lake. It's very difficult to see these breaks or to know when it may occur under your feet.

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

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Portage What to Pack

  • Packing List

    by Paulene Written Oct 4, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Depending on the time of year you visit you will need a variety of clothing. Winter can be very snowy at times and even down to below zero. Summer is sometimes very hot and muggy as warm as 100*. Spring and Fall are almost non-existant. You can tell by the leaves on the trees; if they are coming out it is Spring, if the are falling off it is Autumn.One day may be 90 and the next day 45, you never know!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Lots of stores if you forget to bring anything you need.

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Portage Off The Beaten Path

  • Nike Missle Site

    A rusting remnant of the Cold War. Nike Missle sites like these were strategically places in rings around major US cities and industrial sights, in defense against a Soviet air attack. This particular one, classified C-47, guarded Chicago and the Indiana steel mills. Empty since 1974, there was some talk about preserving it as an historical...

  • Inland Marsh

    Ten thousand years ago Lake Michigan, 25 feet higher than it is today, formed the Tolleston Dunes. Now these high ridges can be viewed along the 2.6 mile Inland Marsh trail. The entrance to the trail is about 1.5 miles east of County Line Road, along US 12. The best views of the marsh can be had from the Inland Marsh Overlook, just over a half a...

  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

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