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Black Friday bargain: Indiana state park admission fees waived

Black Friday bargain: Indiana state park admission fees waived

Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Dunes State Park

Hoosiers determined to avoid the shopping mall on Black Friday, but still wanting to get out of the house, can "opt outside" this year at an Indiana state park.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is waiving admission fees Friday at all DNR properties, including Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton.

According to the DNR, the hundreds of thousands of acres preserved across the state are a great place for Hoosiers to socially distance amid the COVID-19 pandemic and perhaps hike off Thanksgiving feasts.

At the Dunes, a naturalist is set to lead a two-hour moderate hike from the Nature Center to the Beach House Blowout and back, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Interested individuals must call 219-926-1390 to register for the limited hike slots.

Visitors also are welcome to hike the Dunes on their own, take in the stunning views of Lake Michigan or walk through the natural landscape as autumn turns to winter.

People who photograph themselves or natural scenes at state parks Friday, and post the images to Indiana DNR social media sites with the hashtag #OptOutsideIN2020, will be eligible for drawings for DNR annual passes, lake permits, gift cards, outdoor experiences and other items.

Additional prizes, including a grand prize gift pack from outdoor gear retailer REI, are available to individuals who camp at a state park, stay at a state park inn or complete a scavenger hunt at a state park Friday.

Further information about Opt Outside events, activities and prizes is available online at

Gallery: Sand sculpture competition brings creative ideas to the Dunes

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