Trails & Beaches

Indiana Dunes State Park…or National Park? Take the Test!

February 17, 2019

With the recent celebratory news of our National Lakeshore becoming a National Park, many people are scratching their heads and asking questions. I thought we were a National Park? How will this affect my passes? Will there be lines?

Lots of  people are confused or not sure about the difference between the Indiana Dunes State Park and the now Indiana Dunes National Park. (which used to be the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore). They know this area is called the “dunes” and there are lots of cool trails, a beautiful beach and lake, but beyond that, it can get very confusing!

Take this quick test and see where you stand. Click on the answer page to learn a bit more and you will be a pro!

  1. True or False. The Indiana Dunes National Park is the area that runs along the beach and shoreline, while the Indiana Dunes State Park is inland.
  2. You can cross country ski in the a) state park     b) national park     c) both
  3. You can camp in the a) state park     b) national park     c) both
  4. The Indiana Dunes State Park has ____ trails
  5. True or False. The Indiana Dunes National Park consists of West Beach in Gary, Cowles Bog in Dune Acres, Pinhook Bog in Michigan City, Heron Rookery in Chesterton & Michigan City and many other trails in-between.
  6. The Saw Whet Owl banding that takes place in October and November is put on by the a) national park     b) state park
  7. True, False or True/False. Both parks have an entrance fee.
  8. True or False. The Three Dunes Challenges is in the Indiana Dunes State Park
  9. There are ____ trail systems in the National Park covering _____ miles of trails.
  10. True or False. The much talked about pavilion is in the Indiana Dunes National Park.

BONUS: True or False: Shirley Heinze Land Trust Properties are part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Answers can be found here.

How did you do? If you answered 8+ correct you’re a true duner! 5-8 correct, you are doing good but need to go explore a little more. Under 5, start doing  your research on ! 

Photo: The Dunes near Porter Beach (Indiana Dunes National Park). Just to the East of this is the pavilion which is part of the Indiana Dunes State park. Yes, confusing!

1 Comment
  1. Reply

    Raymond Hewlett

    April 16, 2019

    Do you know if there is an existing app that shows exact location on the trails inside the park!!!!


Welcome to Dig the Dunes!

Dig the Dunes uncovers all the secrets of the dunes! From trails and beaches, to people, places, events and even the history and geology. Visit our page frequently for fun facts and new adventures for you to embark upon!

We offer lots of classes like beach glass art, jewelry making, wine and canvas, hikes, comedy shows and more!

Questions or ideas? email us at