The National Park Service just announced that it will offer ranger-guided hikes on Mount Baldy this summer at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The hikes will use a trail on the western edge of the dune that has been determined to be safe from holes and is the same path used to take news media on the dune last summer. A total of 22 guided hikes are scheduled on selected Friday afternoons and Sunday mornings between June 5 and September 6. The programs are free, but reservations are required to keep groups at a manageable size of no more than 30 people. To learn more about the hikes or to make reservations, call the Visitor Center’s information desk at 219-395-1882.
All programs will meet at the Indiana Dunes Visitor Center. After a brief introduction, participants will follow the ranger to the Mount Baldy parking lot. During each one-hour hike, rangers will guide groups to a high point on the dune that overlooks the location where mysterious holes were first observed in July of 2013. Visitors will learn how scientists are continuing to work to unravel the mystery of Mount Baldy’s holes and how park staff is restoring the native plants that used to grow on portions of the dune.
These programs will provide visitors with guided access to an area that has been closed to the public since an accident on the dune in 2013. All other portions of the 15,000 acres of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the neighboring Indiana Dunes State Park remain fully open to the public. A decision on full public access to the approximately 100 acres of Mt. Baldy that is closed will be determined following the completion of the scientific research sometime later this year.