What do you think about when someone says “dog beaches”? Do you picture a sandy beach with clear water and palm trees, the sound of waves crashing in the background? Or maybe your mind goes to a crowded dog park where dogs are running around playing together. Well, if you live in Indiana, chances are that it is neither of these things – and that’s good! With access to miles of Lake Michigan coastline, hundreds of lakes, and sandy river banks, what’s not to love about the dog beaches in Indiana?

Here are some of our favorite dog beaches that can be found in the state of Indiana!

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There are many locations across Indiana where dogs can be on a beach. Many of the beaches along Lake Michigan are quite large and offer ample room to run, while others along small lakes and rivers are quite small but do not get as many visitors. It’s really up to you and what you’re looking to get out of the experience of going to the dog beach.

There are many beaches across Indiana that are not officially dog beaches but do allow dogs on their beaches. Some have specific rules regarding keeping dogs on-leash, so it is important to review the rules for wherever you plan on going. The following are some of the top-rated beaches in Indiana that allow beaches that are worth checking out:

  • Indiana Dunes National Park – Lake Michigan
  • Fort Harrison State Park Dog Park – Indianapolis
  • Eagle Creek Park Beach – Indianapolis
  • Morse Park & Beach – Noblesville
  • Fox Island County Park – Fort Wayne
  • Patoka Lake Swimming Beach – French Lick

What should I bring to the dog beach?

Although it may be tempting to not bring anything and just let your dog off-leash in the water, we recommend that you bring everything with you that your pet would normally need when he goes for a walk around town. This includes all of his food, bowls, leashes, toys, poop bags, and any other equipment you use at home.

Can I bring my dog to a beach in an Indiana state park?

Yes! Many of Indiana’s state parks have a designated dog beach where they can be let off-leash. You should be sure to follow the rules posted at the entrance of the state park regarding dogs and where they need to remain leashed.

If you’re wondering, the requirements are typically that dogs must be on a leash during any activity other than swimming (i.e., biking, disc golfing).

Do dog beaches in Indiana require permits?

No! There is no permit needed to bring your pup to an Indiana dog beach. You also do not need to register your dog, however, it is a good idea to have documentation of their vaccines.

Are there fines for not picking up after my dog at a dog beach?

Yes, there can be fines for those who do not pick up after their dogs. Other individuals can report repeat offenders by reaching out to the manager of the dog park – usually a local Parks and Recreation department.