Mount Baldy (sand dune)

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Mount Baldy
Indiana dunes.jpg
View of the dune
Map showing the location of Mount Baldy
Map showing the location of Mount Baldy
Location of Mount Baldy in Indiana
Coordinates 41°42′32″N 86°55′41″W / 41.7089°N 86.9281°W / 41.7089; -86.9281Coordinates: 41°42′32″N 86°55′41″W / 41.7089°N 86.9281°W / 41.7089; -86.9281
Range 41°42'33"N 86°55'47"W
Age Holocene

Mount Baldy is a sand dune located in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It is the tallest sand dune on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is 123 feet tall. It is a wandering dune that moves or shifts every year, and is called a "living dune."

Mount Baldy is accessible from U.S. Route 12 (also known as Dunes Highway) between the town of Pines and the western border of Michigan City, Indiana. It is a tourist attraction locally and regionally, drawing weekend and summer visitors from Chicago. Prior to the dune's closure, on a clear day one could see Chicago's skyline from its top. North of Mount Baldy is a swimmable beach which is also part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Erosion[edit]

Due to its popularity with visitors the marram grass which had stabilized the dune was largely destroyed, and the dune has begun advanced southwards, threatening to overrun its parking lot. Accordingly, the National Park Service has rerouted trails and planted grass in hopes of slowing the dune. In 2013, strange sinkholes began appearing in the sand, one of which swallowed a small child. It took three hours for the boy to be rescued from the 11 feet (3.4 m) deep pit. The geological process that is producing the sinkholes is under study, but is a total mystery.[1] The dune remains closed to visitors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lourgos, Angie Leventis (27 April 2014). "Holes in Mount Baldy still a mystery as Park Service keeps landmark closed". The Washington Post. Retrieved 30 April 2014.