Marquette Park and Nature Preserve

 Marquette Park’s 241 acres span the entire coast of Gary’s Miller Beach neighborhood, including its 90 lakefront homes. Walk onto 5 miles of  beaches and over 20 miles of scenic hike and bike trails in the Indiana Dunes, and see the Chicago skyline from the shore of the southernmost point of Lake Michigan!   You’ll find a lagoon, oak savanna, inland ponds, and tall dunes at this  hidden gem. Public art commemorating local history includes Father of Flight Octave Chanute, explorer Father Marquette, and Tuskegee Airman.  Historical and stately buildings add to the wide variety of interesting experiences at this park.

In 2011, the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) spent 30 million dollars in Marquette Park  renovating two historic 1920s Prairie School structures—the stately Marquette Pavilion and the Gary Aquatorium (Gary Bath House).  The RDA also restored coastal dunes and picnic areas and installed new paved trails for bicycling and hiking to connect our neighborhood trail system to the Indiana Dunes National Park.  Managed by the City of Gary Park District with the help of: Friends of Marquette Park, Miller Garden Club, and Miller Playground Committee.

Little bluestem turns shades of orange and rust.  Here, they line a beach path in Marquette Park.

 

National Park Service ranger Sophia came out to help with story hour.  Douglas Center Rangers are a part of our community and help with programs like this one,  and paddling events in the lagoon.
Being outdoors in the Indiana Dunes instills a sense of wonder and joy. Photo Credit:  Chiara Young
Winter scene, over a dune on the shore of Lake Michigan.  This is the shoreline west of the main parking area of the park.Winter brings intense colors of blue and white to the shore. Photo Credit: Peggy Vanhala
Winter brings intense colors of blue and white to the shore. Photo Credit: Peggy Vanhala
Our dog friendly beaches are great for walks year round.  This is the beach directly north of the Gary Aquatorium.
Unlimited family fun on our Lake Michigan beaches! Kids love our shallow walk in shoreline and sand bars.
Launch your jet ski or small craft from Lake Street Beach! Pull into shore to enjoy the boat-in beaches of Marquette Park. Photo Credit: Tracey Peterson
Lake Street Sea Dogs food truck serves up some deliciousness at Lake Street Beach in the summer months. Photo Credit: Chris Peterson

 

Enjoy bratwurst, coneys and the lake view at the Marquette Beach concession stand. Open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Marquette Park Pavilion has a ballroom, lounge, and memorable outdoor entertaining spaces facing the Calumet Lagoon.   Rent this historic building for your special event.
Rent the Gary Aquatorium for a  weddings or private event.  The 2nd floor overlook is open year round to the public when it isn’t being used for an event.
Aerial view of the Tuskegee Memorial shows Chicago skyline on the opposite Lake Michigan shore!  Photo Credit: Ed Stojancevich ed@stojomedia
See where Octave Chanute did his first flying experiments, that helped the Wright Brothers!
The ADA canoe/kayak launch let’s everyone paddle the Calumet Lagoon. There is a wheelchair accessible bench, just pull in and keep your feet dry!
Happiness! Ready to launch into the Calumet Lagoon, see the pull in bars to slide the kayak? Photo Credit: Andee Fonseca
The Father Marquette Statue and Gardens are at the site where he visited Miller Beach during his explorations. This is at the main entrance to Marquette Park.