Mount Baldy Dune Taking over Exit Road

Apr 21, 2021

Photo taken from the top of Mount Baldy in 2007.
Credit Sharon Jackson, Show Host/Reporter / Lakeshore Public Radio

MICHIGAN CITY - Mount Baldy at Indiana Dunes National Park, that once swallowed a 6 year-old boy digging in the sand in 2013, is now taking over the exit road and the exit to the parking lot.

Indiana Dunes National Park spokesman Bruce Rowe says Mount Baldy moves about 4 to 10 feet to the south every year.

"The movement is nothing new, actually in some years, not that long ago, it was moving up to 10 or even 11 feet to the south each year," Rowe says.  "Of course it's being moved by the wind slowly."

Rowe says the parking lot isn't covered but the exit road is.  A couple of weeks ago national park staff looked at the site and determined that they could make the Mount Baldy parking area a two-way to allow people to go in and out of the parking lot on the one road, so the exit road would no longer be need to be used.

"We looked at a couple of options, seeing if we could use heavy equipment to move the, the sand off of that exit road," Rowe says.  "We finally determined that it didn't make a lot of sense.  It was going to continue to happen and we would just be interfering with what's at least a fairly natural process, dunes do tend to move unless they get covered by Marram grass or other plants that start to anchor them in place."

Rowe says the actual parking spots at Mount Baldy are safe for about another six or seven years, based on the average movement of the dune every year.  In the long run the dune will overtake that main parking area.  Rowe says staff is lo oking at other parking areas to the east to meet the parking needs in the future.