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The surprising discovery of huge sand dunes in America’s heartland

Location: Hours:  Fees:
1100 North Mineral Springs Road
Porter, IN 46304
Park Areas: 6:00 am to 11:00 pm

Visitor Center: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm – (Summer) – 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Winter)

$6.00 Per Vehicle

Indiana Dunes, National Lakeshore Park was another destination we had not planned to visit but found out about as we reached Indiana – it is great to get such surprises.

I don’t think most people would expect to find sand dunes of such a size on the edge of a lake a thousand miles from the sea, but there they are. We diverted off the road to see one of the largest dunes, Mount Baldi, which climbs 120 feet and is encroaching onto the land behind it at a staggering rate of 5 feet per year (threatening the parking lot and the nearby Route 12). Our lungs (or at least Karen’s and mine) were screaming by the time we had reached the top, but it was worthwhile as even on this grey day the views were stunning. The children ran down the side of the dune towards the lake, the parents ambled at a more leisurely pace down the slope. We of course had to do the obligatory paddle in Lake Michigan (only Lakes Superior and Huron to go now). By this stage the weather was closing in rapidly so picked ourselves up and went off to find the Indiana Dunes visitors center. Here we met a wonderful Ranger called Jean Pierre (or JP) who helped Jack and Emily through their Junior Ranger programs so they could get their badges.


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