Okay, so now I'm using the old adage "one man's trash is another man's treasure" quite a lot. But it's warranted. Hey, "one man's meat is another man's poison." Same thing...except that neither treasure nor trash (we hope) will kill you.

I say all that because I am here to step in and defend what I believe is a beautiful national park located in Indiana.

This beautiful hunk of the Hoosier State might have some scratching their heads. (Beaches and dunes in...INDIANA?) But once they realize that, yes, there is a stretch of Indiana that's a Lake Michigan coastline, they'll immediately get it. I certainly hope they also take an opportunity to visit. The great outdoors AND a cool view of one of the recognizable skylines in the world? I'm here for it.

Now, I'm figuratively "rallying the troops" because of something I saw that, well, I thought was quite funny. Yeah, it's rare one goes into defense mode after seeing something funny, but it made me laugh, so there. BOTH things can be true.

The Washington Post recently compiled a list of its favorite one-star reviews of national parks. The humor behind the idea speaks to me. Plus, these parks will NEVER hurt for traffic; they're iconic and beautiful and, well, there's a sour apple in every bunch. Here are a few examples:

Yellowstone National Park

Everywhere you go, there’s this lingering smell of rotten eggs. You’d think for the $35 entrance fee the park people could install some airwicks Air Wicks or something. -- C.S. of Flagstaff AZ

Uh, hello. It's Yellowstone. It's famous for Old Faithful. Yes, SULFUR is a lingering aroma.


Badlands is basically washed-out hills of 50,000-year-old mud. You have vast grasslands on one side and old mud on the other. And the mud wasn’t even differently colored layers or have any other redeeming qualities. It was brown. -- Henry H. of Las Vegas

I've been to the Badlands. I spent several hours at the Badlands. It's breathtaking.

Dave Spencer/Townsquare Media
Dave Spencer/Townsquare Media

Henry and I will just have to agree to disagree.

Grand Canyon

It’s to[o] big. … Also my wife decided to divorce me while we were there. -- Landon W. of Canada

Well, Landon, I'm sorry about your luck. I couldn't imagine why the Grand Canyon would get a bad review, but I get it now.

And then came this one:

Indiana Dunes

I can’t beat around the bush with this one: To call this a National Park is an atrocity, an absolute insult to all of the others. My wife and I have been to much better county parks! However, if you like run-down boardwalks that take you to overlooks showing nothing, great views of steel mills, railroad lines and a nuclear power plant combined with a run-down urban feel, this may just be the place of your dreams. -- Bill H. of Brighton MI

Uh, it seems Bill did not enjoy his visit to Indiana Dunes. Oh well, not everyone likes chocolate, either. Hey, to each his own. I think it's a rare beauty in the Hoosier State and I'm not alone.

Stopped here for the day to check out the National Park. Hit the visitor center to start things off. The park ranger gave me a lot of great ideas on what to do: I ventured off into the park mostly to do some hiking today and had a great time hiking. Indiana Dunes National Park hugs 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan and has much to offer. 15,000 acres will continually enchant you. Hikers will enjoy 50 miles of trails over rugged dunes, mysterious wetlands, sunny prairies, meandering rivers and peaceful forests. -- Craig T. of Carmel IN

By the way, I read other reviews where the chief complaint is that it's called a national park. In my opinion, that's not really a critique of the park itself. Anyway, what's in a name besides a word some folks might never have thought could describe Indiana.

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