Mayor Sue Lynch proudly welcomes you to the City of Portage and invites you to view a brief slideshow tour of just a few of the many community highlights. Mayor Lynch is a strong supporter of community and economic development efforts. She works closely with the Portage EDC to help carry out our mission of business retention, attraction and retention.
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk
A seamless blend of business and quality of life
Located in Porter County in Northwest Indiana on the southern shores of Lake Michigan, the City of Portage enjoys stunning views across the Lake to downtown Chicago. Portage is privileged to also have portions of the Indiana Dunes National Park within our boundaries.
Boasting the many opportunities that come with being on the shores of Lake Michigan, Portage's resources range from relaxing sandy beaches to the bustling Port of Indiana - Burns Harbor, Portage takes pride in the seamless integration that has allowed precious natural resources to flourish along side some of the nation's largest steel production facilities and logistics companies that are also located in our City. No where else is this more evident than at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk park, which was developed on former National Steel property as a collaborative effort between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. National Park Service / Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the City of Portage.
The Indiana Dunes National Park has 15-miles of coastline, over 70 miles of hiking and biking trails through a landscape of rolling dunes and more than 350 species of birds. From Lake Michigan the National Park is conveniently accessible through the Portage Marina, with more than 200 permanent slips, pump out and transient slips, dock fishing, and easy, direct access to the area's hiking and biking trails that run through Portage and beyond.
With the Portage/Ogden Dunes South Shore commuter rail station adjacent to the marina, it's an easy rail ride from downtown Chicago from the west or South Bend, Indiana, from the east, to bring your bike or hiking shoes and take advantage of Portage's vast recreational amenities.
A short 40 minute drive or 20 minute train ride to downtown Chicago allows Portage residents to have the best of both affordable small town living and major metropolitan amenities.
Indiana Dues State Park
In Portage, vacation starts right in our backyard with a public marina and the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk providing easy access to beautiful beaches and Lake Michigan. Just a few miles away is the Indiana Dunes, which also provides abundant opportunities for recreation, including swimming, hiking, cycling, paddling, birding, and fishing, to name a few.
Vacation brings happy memories of childhood trips and picnics at the beach. There’s no place closer than the Indiana Dunes http://www.indianadunes.com/ You’ll find pristine sand, clear water, and huge sand dunes. Rediscover simple pleasures, build a sandcastle, dig your toes in the sand, hike up and down the dunes or stroll along one of the many wooded walking trails. The Indiana Dunes attract more visitors annually than Everglades National Park in Florida. Indiana Dunes Tourism helps our visitors discover all the dunes have to offer and beyond with plenty of culture and events happening south of the shore. Build a sandcastle, dig your toes in the sand, hike up and down the dunes or explore one of our nearby communities—it all starts at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center, just past Portage off Highway 94.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore entails 15 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan.You’ll find pristine sand, clear water, and huge sand dunes. Whether you enjoy bird watching, camping, or flying kites, the National Lakeshore will continue to surprise you. Hikers will enjoy rugged trails, wetlands, sunny prairies, meandering rivers, and peaceful forests.
The Indiana Dunes State Park lies within the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore—just think of it as a park within a park. Located at the north end of State Road 49, this state-run park consists of 2,182 acres of primitive, beautiful, historic and unique dune landscape, including the three highest dunes along the southern shore of Lake Michigan.
Boundless cultural activities are available in Northwest Indiana or a short commute to Downtown Chicago.
Enjoy an evening of SouthShore RailCat’s Baseball, Valparaiso University Basketball, or National Sporting Events just minutes away in Chicago.
Transformative development and redevelopment initiatives in Portage's downtown have created a vibrant suburban lifestyle hub. Public space at Founders Square includes the three-acre Indiana American Water Amphitheatre and recreation area where activities and performances are held throughout the summer, Hannah's Hope Playground, designed for children of all abilities, and the Portage Splash Pad.
The recently completed Promenade at Founders Square mixed use development includes nine two-story buildings with 304 luxury residential units and ground floor mixed use commercial space. The new fire station, police station, little league fields and ample eating establishments are all located within walking distance.
Local residents like to say that Portage provides the best of both worlds . . . you can live in a thriving small suburban lakefront community and still enjoy all the world class cultural opportunities found in Chicago, the nation's third largest city. Whether it's arts, museums, restaurants, theatre, sporting events, concerts, festivals or other activities that are of interest to individuals and families, you can find them all close by.
Locally Portage offers a wide variety of activities throughout the city. The Portage Amphitheatre also hosts festivals, concerts and family activities year-round. The Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana Dunes State Park offer indoor and outdoor educational experiences all year. Northwest Indiana has a multitude of galleries, museums, theatres and venues for young and old. And the State of Indiana as a wealth of cultural road trip activities available for all ages.
PARKS & RECREATION
Downtown Portage is connected to Portage's vast trail system for easy access to our many recreational amenities. Portage is home to fourteen city parks, Lakefront Park on Lake Michigan and portions of Indiana Dunes National Park.
Indiana Dunes National Park, our nation's 61st national park, is quickly becoming a preferred vacation spot. Indiana Dunes Tourism has created an outstanding comprehensive website that shares the countless resources and attractions offered in and around the National Park, including the Indiana Dunes State Park. If you're looking for a hiking challenge, try the '3 Dune Challenge' or just walk the 70 miles of dunes and wooded trails. Birdwatchers keep an eye out for the more than 350 species of native birds. Plant enthusiasts hunt for the more than 1,100 flowering plant species. Paddlers enjoy riding along the shoreline or floating down the many connected waterways. Relax with dinner or a snack at the newly opened Indiana Dunes State Park Pavilion overlooking Lake Michigan. Or just explore the fifteen miles of sandy beaches, flowing dunes and great outdoors.
You won't want to miss Imagination Glen, a 276 acre city park that is home to the Portage's softball and soccer complexes, two sand volleyball courts, a BMX race track, and the 10-mile Outback Mountain Bike Trail. The park also contains a large nature preserve, two playgrounds, picnic shelters, open play space, access to fishing on Salt Creek and is bordered to the south by the Iron Horse Trail.
Portage High School Students
Portage educates students for tomorrow’s success. Portage EDC works closely with our area schools, including collaborating on our annual Manufacturing 360 and Healthcare 360 events, to ensure students are aware they don’t need to look far for secondary education and employment opportunities after high school. Portage Township Schools include eight elementary, two middle and one high school with a total enrollment of approximately 7,800 students.
The Porter County Career and Technical Education Center is a cooperative effort of 10 area high schools, providing high quality, effective, workforce and technical educational programs that prepare students for a specialized career. The PCCTE is a valuable partner in assisting our businesses with finding skilled local talent to fill job positions in manufacturing, health and other related fields.
NEO New Vistas High School provides an alternative for students re-entering or re-engaging in high school.
Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. With a relentless focus on aligning education and workforce development to meet the needs of employers, Ivy Tech offers career focused programs, more than 100 transferable programs, and programming flexibility to meet both student and employer needs. Ivy Tech - Valparaiso campus is located sixteen minutes from Portage. To assure business requirements are met, Ivy Tech Workforce Training employer counsellors work directly with local businesses to customize industry specific training curriculum.
Other Area Post-Secondary Education
Purdue University Northwest (Calumet/Westville 18 miles)
Indiana University Northwest (9 miles)
Calumet College (20 miles)
Valparaiso University (16 miles)
The Promenade at Founders Square
Housing options in Portage range from lakefront homes to residential developments to downtown apartments.
The quant lakefront community of Ogden Dunes lies within the boundary of Indiana Dunes National Park and is nearly surrounded by the City of Portage. The Portage downtown Promenade at Founders Square mixed use development offers urban life with lifestyle amenities within walking distance. Several residential housing developments located throughout the city, as well as existing urban housing stock, offer a wide variety of neighborhood community living opportunities.
Porter Regional Hospital
Portage is served by several healthcare organizations with excellent accreditations, a wide variety of specialized services and compassionate in-hospital and outpatient care. These providers are all active in the Portage community, working hand-in-hand with businesses and local leaders to assure the best healthcare possible.