Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore impacted by government shutdown

Forbes family builds a snowman after event is canceled at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. // WSBT 22 News.

The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is remaining open during the shutdown.

This is a change from the policy during the shutdown of 2013 when all the parking lots were locked up.

While the parks are open, there are some changes you should know before you take the trip.

The Forbes family showed up to the dunes Saturday for a scheduled maple tree tapping event.

Eric Forbes had found the event on the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Facebook page.

"I said was going to be rain or shine? Because it was supposed to rain today," says Eric Forbes. "They messaged back and said yeah it was on, but nobody showed up."

While rain or snow wouldn't cancel the event, a government shutdown did.

Back at the Dunes visitor center, a sign explains that all scheduled programs are suspended during the shutdown.

The visitor center is open because it is owned by Porter county, and county employees can still come to work.

The national park rangers normally work alongside the county employees and man the bookstore.

The park rangers won't be back until the shutdown is over.

Lorelei Weimer, the executive director of Indiana Dunes tourism, says impact should be minimal.

"We're in our off season, so our staff will be able to manage," says Weimer. "If this would happen in July, it'd be a different story. We would be in trouble if this happened in the middle of peak season."

Weimer says people should still be mindful of some service changes.

In addition to no programming, national parks employees won't be there to open bathrooms or plow parking lots if there is a snowstorm.

Weimer says if you are worried about the service changes, a good option would be to try the Indiana Dunes State Park.

That park within the National Lakeshore is not impacted at all by the shutdown because it is run by the state.

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