Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana National Dunes Beaches Closed After Fish Kill

Aug 16, 2019

Beaches, including ones in the state’s first national park, are closed this weekend after a large fish kill. Authorities say the kill is likely the result of a chemical spill.

Indiana coast along Lake Michigan (Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore)
Lauren Chapman

The U.S. House passed a bill last year to make Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore the state’s first national park, but the National Park Service doesn’t think it should be one. 

Betty B / https://www.flickr.com/photos/betty_b/3735467627

The popular Mt. Baldy sand dune along the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will remain closed to the general public once again this summer. The National Park Service won’t reopen the site until it’s safe.  

The National Park Service closed Mt. Baldy after a section of the dune collapsed in 2013. That hole trapped a 6-year-old boy under 11 feet of sand. The boy survived.

Since then geologists have been studying the dune, trying to determine what caused the hole to form.

Tom Gill / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lapstrake/16144565664

Indiana’s Dunes National Lakeshore is helping scientists study the effects of climate change on maple syrup production. The park is the only site in the Midwest to take part in the study.

University of Massachusetts Amherst professor Joshua Rapp says Indiana is an important location for the study. It’s near the western edge of maple trees’ natural range-- which runs from Canada to Virginia, and the Atlantic to the Midwest.

The study looks at the ways a changing climate will affect the chemistry and sugar content of maple sap.

Snowy Owls Return To The Hoosier State

Dec 30, 2015
Stephan Rinke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/stephanrinke/

Two years ago, the northern U.S. saw one of the largest migration populations of snowy owls on record. Although the numbers have slightly declined since that record migration in 2013, snowy owls have been spotted in Indiana again this year.

Snowy owls travel as far south as central Indiana as part of their annual migration. Interpretive Naturalist Brad Bumgardner from the Indiana Dunes State Park says that this year, snowy owls have been spotted along the Indiana lakeshore.

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

Jun 15, 2015
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.