General: Dunewood campground is located within Indiana Dunes National Park, established in 2019 (The national seashore was established in the 1960s). The Park is spread out for many miles along the coast of northern Indiana and depending on the direction you approach the campground from, it can be confusing. We approached from the east and the visitor center is nowhere near the campground and since we arrived after 6 pm, we had no maps or other information. Fortunately, there was cell service, and we went to the NPS app for some information. The campground is divided into two loops plus a walk-in section for a total of 66 sites; all require advance reservations. Don’t confuse it with the nearby state park called Indiana Dunes State Park.
Site Quality/Facilities: The sites are very wooded with sufficient privacy between them. Unfortunately, our site (31) was quite possibly the worst one for a campervan(would not be suitable for an RV at all) but would have made a fantastic tent site(wood stakes separated the“driveway” from the rest of the site). 13 of the 34 sites in the Mather loop were empty both at 7 pm and 7 am the next morning yet since they were all reserved, we were not able to move. The pads were all paved and most of the sites were generous in size. None of the sites have any hookups. We did hear occasional trains passing nearby.
Bathhouse: Large, clean restroom facility with showers, not the norm for national park campgrounds.
Activities: hiking, beach walking. There were some trails that could be accessed from the campground, but we did not explore these. After going to the Visitor Center the next morning and reading the NPS app, we decided to try the Diana Dunes Dare. The story behind this is fascinating but alas, it was humid and buggy, and we could see more rain was on the way so we only did one of the three loops (If you do all three, you can get a sticker). While there is no fee to enter Indiana Dunes National Park, there is an “amenities” fee of $6 per car ($3 if you have the senior pass) from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
We had originally planned to spend two nights here but between the weather and bugs, and our site not working for us, we only spent one night. I would have given this campground three stars based on our personal experience, however, overall, the campground and facilities were well maintained and nice.