1974, fine sand trucked in.
1983, coarse sand trucked in.
1996, early summer, 35,000 cubic yards of sand slurried in by pipe from the harbor.
1996, late summer, 50,000 cubic yards of sand trucked in.
Mount Baldy Summit Trail
0.8 miles, 55 feet of elevation gain, 4% average grade, 13% maximum grade
Average hiking time: 1 hour
The featured hike is an out and back trail. Starting at the parking lot trailhead, take the trail around the west side of Mount Baldy. At the trail junction, turn right and follow the trail to the base of the dune. The trail up Mount Baldy is a scramble up loose sand. There is often a rope that can be used to pull oneself up the final stretch. Once at the top, be sure to follow the ranger, as there are no trail markers. It is important not to step on any plants, as they are needed to stabilize the dune. To get back to the parking lot, follow the trail back off Mount Baldy and turn left at the trail junction.
History and Background
Mount Baldy is 126 feet above the water level of Lake Michigan and is moving inland at about 4 feet per year. Beach sand on the dune moves when the prevailing northwest wind exceeds 7 m.p.h. The movement of Mount Baldy is made worse because there is no longer sand collecting at the water's edge to bolster the dune. Beach erosion is taking away more sand from Mount Baldy than the waves are bringing in due to the breakwall that was built for the Michigan City Harbor. To try and correct the effect of the breakwall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began feeding the beach in 1974.
Thus far there have been four replenishments of sand to Mount Baldy: