Pricing changes are coming to one national park. Starting at the end of March, Indiana Dunes National Park will begin charging an entrance fee in order to offset operating costs.
The new fee was recently approved by the National Park Service and will vary depending on how you enter the park. It breaks down as follows:
- Walk, bike, or boat — $15
- Motorcycle — $20
- Vehicles — $25
- Motor coach — up to $100
The maximum one family will pay to enter the park will be $25 per family. That means, if you have multiple family members walking into the park, you will only need to pay $25 instead of $15 per person. An annual pass for the park will be $45.
The new entrance fee is in response to the rising costs of infrastructure maintenance and development. The money will go toward parking and transportation improvements, as well as updated visitor services, and a new bike trail. The Marquette Greenway Bike Trail will go between Chicago and New Buffalo, and Michigan along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
There are a few exceptions to the Indiana Dunes National Park entrance fee. Anyone holding an Annual Federal Land Pass, Senior Pass, or Veterans, Military, and Gold Star Pass will still get in for free. The 4th Grade Pass, Access Pass, and Volunteer Pass will also all be exempt.
Park officials say the fee is in response to the increased visitor volume and the maintenance needs that stem from that trend. It will also help expand services to provide more experiences in and around the park. They urge travelers to get the annual pass, as it provides the most for your money.