Three National Parks in Indiana

March 10, 2023

national parks in Indiana

With its unique landscapes and rich history, Indiana is home to three national parks. From George Rogers Clark's historical park to the relaxing shoreline of Indiana Dunes National Park, these sites offer something for everyone.

From a hike to a swim in Lake Michigan, these National Parks are worth a visit. So come #FindYourPark in Indiana!

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

One of the National Park Service sites in Indiana, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park commemorates the military actions of George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War. His renowned capture of Fort Sackville on February 25, 1779, expanded American land claims in the Ohio Valley and contributed to the United States' acquisition of the Northwest Territory in the Treaty of Paris.

The park is located on the banks of the Wabash River in Vincennes, about 20 miles south of Evansville. The centerpiece of the park is the George Rogers Clark Memorial.

George Rogers Clark was a Virginia-born native who left his home to explore the American West. He fought Indian war parties, led Kentucky militia, and served as a surveyor. His extraordinary personality and courage in the face of adversity earned him the respect of all those who knew him.

Indiana Dunes National Park

One of the newest national parks to join the ranks, Indiana Dunes is one of the most biodiverse parks in the country. It ranks fifth in plant diversity, behind Yosemite.

In addition to its beautiful beachfront and hiking trails, the park also protects oak savannas, prairies, forests, and wetlands. These habitats are among the most biologically diverse in the world and are home to a number of rare, threatened, or endangered species.

The history of the park dates back to 1904 when a movement began to preserve the dunes and their surrounding ecosystems. This movement was spearheaded by Henry Chandler Cowles, a University of Chicago professor, who studied ecological succession in the area.

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

The story of the 16th President's 14 formative years in Indiana springs to life at this national park. Visit the Living Historical Farm to learn about Lincoln's early days, watch a film and explore scenic hiking trails.

The memorial honors the pioneer community where Abraham Lincoln grew up from 1816 to 1830. During this time, Lincoln worked side by side with his father, mourned the loss of his mother, and read the books that would change him.

Inside the visitor center, you can explore two Memorial Halls and a museum, watch an orientation film, and shop in the bookstore. On the outside, carved Indiana limestone panels depict various places where Lincoln lived and quote his speeches.

The Lincoln Boyhood Trail connects the pioneer cemetery to the park's Living Historical Farm. You'll find a log cabin, outbuildings, split rail fences, animals, gardens and field crops. Rangers in period clothing perform a variety of activities typical to the 1820s.

Bailly Homestead National Historic Landmark

Located in Porter, Indiana, Bailly Homestead National Historic Landmark offers a glimpse into the settlement history of Northwest Indiana. This historic site was established by a fur trader named Joseph Bailly in 1822 and is now managed by the National Park Service.

In addition to its historical significance, the area also features a beautiful natural beach and sand dunes. It is also home to Chellberg Farm, a Swedish-style house that was restored by the National Park Service in 1972.

The 3.4-mile Little Calumet Trail connects both sites, offering a short, easy loop hike. It's a great way to enjoy the area and learn more about its history.

During your visit, be sure to stop by the Bailly Cemetery, which is a bit more unique than most of the other burial grounds in Porter County. This cemetery was primarily used by Native Americans before it was acquired by the Bailly family in 1822.


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