Mount Baldy is a sand dune located in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It is on the southern shore of Lake Michigan and is 126 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, one could ascend its 302 steps and see Chicago’s skyline. North of Mount Baldy is a swimmable beach which is also part of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Due to its popularity with visitors, the marram grass which had stabilized the dune was largely destroyed, and the dune has begun advancing southwards, threatening to overrun its parking lot. Accordingly, the National Park Service has rerouted trails and planted grass in hopes of slowing the dune erosion.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has recently been promoted to National Park Status making it the nation’s 61st national park.