Check Out Camping Sites Around the Dunes!

Enjoy the Dunes and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of our national park.

Grae Stockhausen, Features Section Editor

Before the frigid air sets in place for the coming winter, take these last warm days to explore the plethora of camping sites that the Dunes has to offer. The Dunes has campsites right near the lakeshore to further into the forests of Northwest Indiana that showcase the flora and fauna. Some are even minutes away from Chesterton and highlight all of this nature right at our fingertips. 

The closest sites to Chesterton are government owned and run by the park services. Indiana Dunes State Park Campground is one of the most highly recommended sites around due to its proximity to town and Lake Michigan. It is also right next to the entrance of Indiana State Park, which is one of the most popular beaches year-round. There are 147 sites to choose from, with almost all of them having access to electricity. All but four sites are also RV-accessible. 

Another area campsite is called Dunewood Campground. Dunewood Campground is pretty close to Kemil Beach, as well as the Goblin and the Grocer and Over Yonder! Dunewood is a good spot for people wanting to enjoy nature since it’s surrounded by a wooded thicket with a sizeable amount of hiking trails, but not be too close to town life. A large campground with two loops, a total of 67 sites, and at least three-fourths of these sites are RV-accessible. Four of these sites are also wheelchair accessible and a few only offer tent camping. 

The Sand Creek Campground has limited activities but is less than ten minutes away from the Coffee Creek Preserve and just fifteen minutes away from the Dunes. The campground is also just over the highway from downtown if being far from civilization is a concern. They offer tent sites and RV sites, as well as a large variety of cabins to choose from, though they are pricey! There is a selection of activities there that are provided, such as a basketball court, volleyball net, and soccer fields. 

Next is the Michigan City Campground with a whopping 94 sites to camp at, RV accessible, and even cabins out for rent, though they are slightly cheaper. Tents can be set up on the tent hill as well, which is just a large open hill. The campground is surrounded by bicycle and hiking trails, horseback riding, fishing charters, kayak rentals, and Michigan City’s Washington Park Zoo.

Though the Dunes are a wonderful attraction, there are many campsites further out that are equally as lush and lovely as the ones close to home. For example, Indian Campgrounds is a wonderful place to camp if you don’t want to get into the rough of it. The site includes full hookup campsites, a camp store lodge, a heated enclosed pool, and Wi-Fi throughout the park. They also have playgrounds, a pinball, ping pong, and a pool table. It is located on the lakefront of Messick Lake, which is connected to four other lakes, two of which are ski lakes. You can boat there and dock your boat on the piers offered there. 

Closer to us, but not necessarily affiliated with the Dunes is Lakeshore Camp Resort. They are very close to Deep River water park, and 10 miles away from the Dunes! Similar to most, they also have campsites and cabins, but 115 campsites and 12 cabins out for rent for extended periods of time. Campsites are full hookups with water, sewer, and electricity. There are many interesting activities to do there, boat rental is offered as they also have a 22-acre lake that you can also fish on. Access to four pools is also available and they have beaches too! 

If you aren’t worried about a long drive, Turkey Run would be the perfect place! They offer 213 campsites surrounded by lush forestry while offering modern services. Electrical hookup is offered as well as functional showers and restrooms near the campsites. Canoeing and kayaking are offered, as well as fishing, horseback riding, and hiking! If Turkey Run is known for anything, it’s the hiking trails. They are a gorgeous display of what the glaciers did to Indiana and how stunning the rugged sandstone cliffs are. 

These are not the only places that are available for camping near here but they are most certainly the most popular and used. As well as that, they’re closest to the most significant attraction, and the reason there are so many camping grounds around here. The Dunes are a wonderful place and having them so close is a blessing as not everyone is so lucky to have a national park just a drive away. Even if you are an NWI resident, consider camping in the autumn season and truly experience the Dunes in an easily accessible and authentic way.