The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk Trail System, a destination maintained as part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, is a natural haven set amongst the industrial areas that dominate Lake Michigan’s southern shore. This 57-acre lakefront site features a sandy beach and a handicap-accessible riverwalk and fishing pier, just across the river from US Steel. The site, formerly used by the steel business as a sewage treatment facility and settling ponds, was reclaimed as a project between public and private groups.
Today, visitors can enjoy the beach, walk trails that highlight dune succession, fish off an accessible fishing pier or a restored 900-foot breakwater. Restrooms, water fountains, information, and a meeting space are located within an architecturally interesting 3,500 square foot public pavilion. The pavilion also houses a seasonal snack bar. Pets on a leash are permitted in most areas except Pavilion and on the beach.
- While the trail surface is paved and wheelchair accessible, bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed.
- The riverwalk and breakwater walkway areas are closed to public use from the last Monday of November through March 1st each year and at other times when ice and snow are present.
The Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk are about an hour from Chicago, depending on where you start. This easy access means the parking lots fill up early during Summer and other weekends with nice weather.