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Indiana Dunes State Park - June 16, 2008

Indiana Dunes State Park, established in 1925, encompasses 2,182 acres at the southern tip of Lake Michigan and includes dunes and wetlands accessible by several miles of hiking trails, and approximately 3 miles of sand beaches.

When I took these photos temperatures were in the high sixties to low seventies with brisk wind, so there wasn't a lot of beach activity. The air was clear, though, and the sun was bright and the lake was beautiful.

To prevent the further loss of vanishing rare habitat to thirsty heavy industries like power plants, steel mills and refineries, the U.S. Congress in 1966 approved the designation of a large tract of land adjacent to the state park as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Parents were admonishing these children, "Don't get sand in your hair!" Hah!
The industry in the background with the tall smokestack is the coal-fired NIPSCO (Northern Indiana Public Service Company) power plant at Michigan City.

The state park bathhouse houses restrooms, changing rooms, showers and space for the lifeguards, and on the second floor, a cafeteria. The building was built in 1929 and is well maintained. The space in the foreground was once occupied by a later hotel that was removed in the 1970s.

Views from the second-floor stairwells.

Over the past couple of years Indiana has invested heavily in the park, reconfiguring the entrance, updating the campground and generally overhauling the infrastructure. At the point where I took this photo there used to be a big cylindrical water tank with an observation platform on top that gave magnificent views. I was disappointed on this visit to find the water tank ..., well, to not find the water tank.

Porter Beach is just west of the state park beach. The beach here is public, but all the surrounding property is private and there are plenty of signs to let you know. The summer homes cover a pretty wide range, and some of the properties look like somebody is waiting for the right offer for the building site.

A few years ago this place housed a concession stand. It doesn't look habitable now, but I could see a light on inside. The building type looks like an old-fashioned beach resort hotel.

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