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Miller Beach

Gary, IN

FishingBoat RampSpotting Scope Recommended

When to Visit:
January - Most ProductiveFebruary - Most ProductiveMarch - Most ProductiveApril - Most ProductiveMay - Most ProductiveJune - Less ProductiveJuly - Less ProductiveAugust - Most ProductiveSeptember - Most ProductiveOctober - Most ProductiveNovember - Most ProductiveDecember - Most Productive

Located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, this beach is an amazing place to find rare birds and watch large numbers of migrants pass by.

Specialty Species:

Waterfowl:  Scan from the beach from the fall through the spring for a chance to see a diversity of waterfowl species.

Shorebirds:  Many species of shorebirds use the beach from July-September.  Watch along the shore for Whilbrel, Willet, Red Knot, Baird’s Sandpiper, Black-bellied Plover and Sanderling.

Jaegers:  Look for all three species (Long-tailed, Parasitic and Pomarine) from September-October.  Parasitic is the most common, followed by Pomarine and finally Long-tailed.

Gulls:  While Ring-billed and Herring Gulls dominate the area, many rare gulls can be found at this location from the fall through the spring.

Terns:  Look for Caspian, Common and Forster’s Terns on the beach or flying over the lake in the spring and fall.

Where to Bird:

The Beach:  Park in the Lake Street Parking lot and walk the beach for a chance at a variety of species.  Depending on the time of year, many gulls, terns, shorebirds, and waterfowl are present.  Another popular technique is to conduct a lakewatch from one of the sand dunes.  Set up your scope and enjoy the variety of birds on the lake.

U.S. Steel Impoundment:  The impoundment is found at the far western end of Miller Beach.  From the parking lot, turn left on the beach and walk to the breakwater.  There is currently an American flag located near the area from which you should scan.  The impoundment can have many species of gulls, terns, and waterfowl.  When birding any area at Miller Beach, the best way to find birds is to scan Lake Michigan with a scope.  Many species that are seen here are just fly-bys.




Parking fees are only collected from Memorial Day to Labor Day when people flock to the beach.


This area can be birded from the car or you can take an easy walk along the Lake Michigan shore.


You can hike anywhere on the beach, but please do not disturb the sand dunes as they are a critical part of the local ecosystem.

Non-birding Equipment Needed:

Lenght of Visit:

Half or full day visit is recommended




From the South:  Take I-65 north until it dead ends.  Turn right (east) onto US-20/12.  When the two roads split, stay on US-12.  Turn left (north) onto South Lake Street.  Follow Lake Street until it dead ends into the large parking area.  After birding this area, leave the parking lot via Lake Street.  After crossing the bridge, take the second left (east) onto Hemlock Avenue.  Turn left (north) onto North Grand Avenue.  Follow the road as it curves to the right.  Turn left (north) at the next stoplight onto East Montgomery Street.  Follow the road as it curve to the left (west) and becomes Marquette Park Road.  Park in the large paved lot on the right (north) side of the road and scan the lake from the beach.


None Available

Nearby Birding: