Located between Lake County and La Porte counties, bordered at the north by Lake Michigan, you’ll find Porter County, Indiana. There’s plenty of natural beauty to behold, as the county is home to a large portion of the Indiana Dunes State Park and National Park, as well as county parks and attractions, such as the Calumet Trail and one of the region’s oldest landmarks, Dunn’s Bridge County Park. Between the larger cities and smaller towns across the county, there’s a community full of history and natural beauty to enjoy.

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Things to Do

Indiana Dunes National Park

The Indiana Dunes stretch 25 miles east along the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Enjoy beautiful lakeside beaches and trails surrounded by prairies, forests and, of course, sand dunes. The landscapes along this region are recognized as some of the most biologically diverse in the nation, acting as a home to over 350 species of birds and hundreds of different animals, as well as over 1,400 species of ferns and flowering plants. Go on a camping trip, take a scheduled tour, paddle your way along the Lake Michigan Water Trail, go fishing, snowshoe along the trails, take your furry friend for a walk and so much more at the Indiana Dunes National Park.

Dunn’s Bridge County Park

The bridge, spanning the Kankakee River, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers an easy way to cross by foot or access the river itself. The location is perfect for canoeing and kayaking, and it offers the only public boat access to the Kankakee River in Porter County. Although the bridge’s origins aren’t fully known, local lore suggests that the arches on the bridge were constructed using the first Ferris wheel, featured at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Visitors also enjoy fishing, bicycling, birdwatching and more.

PoCo Muse

The Porter County Museum of History offers an array of wonderful exhibits and programs focusing on local Indiana history. The collection was started as a way to display township artifacts for Indiana’s Centennial Celebration in 1916, but when some contributors didn’t want those items back, the museum held onto them, preserving the history for others. The building now housing the collection is the former Porter County Jail and Sheriff’s Residence, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. PoCo Muse engages Porter County’s rich history with the evolving present to inspire local communities.

Calumet Trail

This picturesque trail runs along relatively flat land. To the south, it runs next to the South Shore Line’s railroad tracks, and to the north, along the Indiana Dunes National Park. With few road crossings and bordering the national park, it’s a relaxing adventure that provides opportunities to see a variety of wildlife. There are also connections to the Dunes Kankakee Trail and the Porter Brickyard Trail, and when you reach the Dune Park South Shore Station, cyclists can hop on the train and head to other locations around the region to explore. The trail is made up of both paved and crushed stone surfaces, so certain areas may be difficult to navigate with road bikes and wheelchairs.

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