Turn Over a New Leaf And New Activities This Summer

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on June 16, 2021 with No Comments

Michelle Senderhauf is the Communication Director at Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism agency for Porter County. For more information, call 219-926-2255.

by Michelle Senderhauf, Communication Director at Indiana Dunes Tourism

Every year, the hot summer temperatures and abundant sunshine lead people to the shores of Lake Michigan to swim, build sandcastles, and sit under beach umbrellas. This year, more than ever, that means summer beach crowds. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds this year, I’d suggest planning your visit in the early evening or on a weekday. Another great tip is to call the Indiana Dunes Beach Parking Hotline at 219-395-1003 to find out which beaches are the most crowded. Or better yet why not try an entirely new kind of summer activity?

Take the Dare…If You Dare

The Diana of the Dunes Dare is a new trail challenge at West Beach in the Indiana Dunes National Park. This scenic one-mile hike climbs up a wooden staircase to the top of “Diana’s Dune,” where you’re rewarded with a spectacular view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. The trail continues through various stages of dunes and ends with a short jaunt along the beach. Signs along the trail tell the story of Alice Mabel Gray, a woman who left Chicago to live in the dunes wilderness in the early 1900s. Reporters at the time called her “Diana of the Dunes,” and a local ghost story was born. After you complete the Dare, stop at the selfie station in the bathhouse and share your accomplishment on social media. Don’t forget to stop at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center or Paul H. Douglas Center for a free sticker! 

Learn more about the Dare at indianadunes.com/ddd.

Drop-In and Give Back 

Why not experience the Indiana Dunes in a new and meaningful way through the Indiana Dunes Drop-In Volunteering Program? The program offers no-hassle, drop-in volunteer opportunities for everyone. Just show up and the gear and training will be provided. Activities include picking up trash on the beach, restoring habitats, leading hikes, or becoming a BARK Ranger with your pet! The program was started by Indiana Dunes Tourism in collaboration with Shirley Heinz, Porter County Parks, Indiana Dunes National and State Parks, TNC Kankakee Sands, and Save the Dunes. 

Learn about Drop-In Volunteering at indianadunes.com/volunteer.

Help the Monarchs

The story of the monarch butterfly is one of incredible transformation and epic travel. Monarchs begin as tiny eggs on the bottom side of milkweed leaves. Adult butterflies fly the farthest of any insect on the planet—between 2,000 and 3,000 miles! Each year, the super generation of monarchs fly from places like the Indiana Dunes all the way down to the Oyamel Fir Forest in Mexico. We are also part of this adventure, and each of us can play a key role in the survival of the monarch. Believe it or not, it can be as simple as planting a milkweed seed in your own backyard.

Learn more and find coupons for butterfly-loving plants at indianadunes.com/monarchs

Make the Dunes Your Summer Destination

You can find more information on these and other great summer activities by visiting indianadunes.com or stopping by the Visitor Center at 1215 N. State Rd. 49 in Porter. At the Visitor Center, you can pick up an Activities Guide, Outdoor Adventures Guide, or speak with one of our helpful Indiana Dunes Ambassadors!

Photo credit: Callie Klatt Golba

Bio:

Michelle Senderhauf is the Communication Director at Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism agency for Porter County. For more information, call 219-926-2255.

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