Lake Michigan has two great national parks, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana) and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan). Both are biologically rich, and reward exploration. Don’t stop at the beach!
There’s also a political back story in each place, with questions of race and class, and trade-offs between economic growth and the environment.
See my full story here.
For Indiana Dunes, see
Franklin, Kay and Norma Schaeffer. 1983. Duel for the Dunes: Land Use Conflict on the Shores of Lake Michigan. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.
For Sleeping Bear Dunes, see
Kalt, Brian C. 2001. Sixties Sandstorm: The Fight Over Establishment of a Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 1961-1970. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press.
For data and charts on visitation to Indiana Dunes by underrepresented groups, see the following article. Indiana Dunes is unusual compared to other park units, apparently because it lies close to minority-dominant communities.
Weber, Joe and Selima Sultana. 2012. “Why Do So Few Minority People Visit National Parks? Visitation and the Accessibility of ‘America’s Best Idea.’” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 1-28.