Everyone can get out and enjoy summer in Indiana with mobility accommodations available at several beaches and swimming pools.

My younger brother was born with Spina bifida, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is a condition that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. Growing up, I got to see how hard it was for someone with mobility restrictions to visit places without wheelchair accessible areas. However, in recent years, more efforts have been made to ensure everyone can enjoy recreational activities with ease.

According to the latest census data, Indiana's total population is 5,563,619. Of that number, 19% of Hoosiers five years of age and older experience some level of disability, with nearly half of that percentage made up of people with physical disabilities. Recognizing this, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has listed several state park properties that now offer accessible swimming and aquatic areas.

Indiana Dunes State Park

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
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According to DNR, Indiana Dunes State Park consists of 2,182 acres of primitive, beautiful, historic, and unique Hoosier landscape. Located in Porter County, the park includes more than three miles of scenic beach along Lake Michigan’s southern shore. This park also has accessible parking and sidewalks leading to beach mats, which allow wheel chairs to travel across the sand.

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Paynetown State Recreation Area

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
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The Paynetown State Recreation Area, located on the northeast side of Monroe Lake in Bloomington, Indiana, has a lot to offer. Visitors can enjoy electric and non-electric camping, a beach, boat docks, a rental service, and more. This beach also features mobility mats for easy beach access.

Fairfax State Recreation Area

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
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The Fairfax State Recreation Area is another recreational area located on Monroe Lake in Bloomington. According to Trip Advisor, Fairfax features a large swimming beach with mobility mats, a hiking trail, two picnic shelters, two boat ramps, and plenty of opportunities for hunting or fishing.

Potato Creek State Park

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
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Potato Creek is in north-central Indiana, about 12 miles southwest of South Bend. It includes a variety of activities, including the 327-acre Worster Lake, vast fields, woodlands, restored prairies, and diverse wetlands. DNR adds that Potato Creek State Park also has an ADA concrete sidewalk that runs from the parking lot to the water’s edge. For more accessible beach and swimming information, click here.

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Photos from Starve Hollow Campground

Gallery Credit: Leslie Morgan

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Gallery Credit: Travis Sams

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Gallery Credit: Travis Sams