Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Proposes Higher Campground Fee Due To New Water System

Is a reliable water source at the Dunewood Campground in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore worth $3 a night to you? If so, then you probably won't mind the lakeshore's proposed increase in camping fees at the campground.

The proposed fee increase is intended to offset the cost of a municipal waterline that was installed in 2012 and which goes into service this year. The municipal water will improve the quality and reliability of the water supply compared to the previous well system and increases the capacity of hydrants to provide fire protection, according to a lakeshore release. The increased camping fee will cover the costs of paying the water company for the water used by the campground.

The proposed $3 increase will boost the cost of a campsite to $18 per night at the Dunewood Campground. Even with this increase, the cost is below the range of $19 - $29.50 charged at comparable campgrounds in Indiana, Michigan and Illinois, the release said.

The National Park Service is also seeking authority to charge a new fee of $10 per person for the annual Century of Progress Historic Homes tour and for other historic homes tours as may be offered. The Century of Progress tour is exceptionally popular with all 800 available tour slots being reserved within days of the announcement each year.

While partner groups, Indiana Landmarks and the Dunes National Park Association, have assisted with these tours by collecting fees for a shuttle service, the park has not been able to recover the other costs associated with this special event. The fee is comparable or lower than other historic properties that have similar limited public access.

Comments on these fees can be sent electronically to: or by writing to the Superintendent, 1100 North Mineral Springs Road, Porter, Indiana 46304. If you prefer to comment in person, there will an Open House on these fees on Monday, February 11, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center located at 1215 North State Highway 49, Porter, Indiana.