May 30, 2014
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: New superintendent Paul Labovitz recently welcomed about 80 seasonal employees to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in preparation for another busy summer along the shores of Lake Michigan. Even with the summer-long closure of Mt. Baldy for research into its mysterious holes, the vast majority of the national park is open despite some rumors to the contrary. In the last two weeks, both the national lakeshore and the nearby Indiana Dunes State Park have received numerous calls from people who heard that the two parks were closed. One caller even mentioned that a downstate television station was reporting the national lakeshore’s closure.
The reality is that less than 100 acres of the park’s 15,000 acres are closed. There are still about 14 miles of beach open to the public despite the closure of Mt. Baldy. West Beach, Portage Lakefront, Porter, Kemil, Central Avenue, and the state park are just some of the beach access points still open. The Dunewood Campground and the state park campground are both open as are more than 45 miles of national lakeshore trails.
Over 150 ranger-led programs are being offered this summer including open houses at Pinhook Bog, Junior Firefighters, Miller Woods hikes, and even a Bailly Cemetery Clean-up. Park partner programs, like the Dunes Learning Center’s summer camps www.duneslearningcenter.org, food concessions, and the City of Portage’s operation of Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk www.inportageparks.com/lakefront-riverwalk/, are all unaffected by Mt. Baldy’s closing.
For more information about the national lakeshore, its partners and programs, contact the park’s information desk at 219-395-1882 or check its website at www.nps.gov/indu.