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Sand Dune Where Boy Was Trapped Open For Ranger-Led Tours

Ralf Huelsmann/WIki Commons

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore park rangers have begun leading tours of a dune that was closed to the public two years ago.

The limited access tours of Mt. Baldy are the first for the park since a sinkhole trapped a 6-year-old Illinois boy for more than three hours in 2013.

The boy miraculously survived.

Park Ranger Bruce Rowe says the trail has been cleared by a team of scientists that have been have been mapping the openings, depressions and anomalous features of the dunes.

"And the other thing is, actually, we're doing some restoration work of some of the plants that used to grow on parts of Mt. Baldy that really weren't getting the chance to grow when lots of people were walking on them," says Rowe. "So our staff has been out there doing some restoration work during the time that Mt. Baldy's been closed."

Rowe says there are some strenuous paths to get up to the top of the dune, so the tour may not be for everybody.

He says until the research on Mt. Baldy is complete, the National Park Service won't know the future of the dune, including whether the beach will ever be opened back up to the public.