Five beaches remain
open in Porter County, but four have been closed due to lifeguard shortages
and erosion issues, the Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor
Commission is reporting.
A shortage of
lifeguards has forced Indiana Dunes State Park to close its beach to
swimming until at least the end of August. The beach remains open for
shoreline activities but no swimming or wading is allowed.
Beaches closed due
to erosion, all of them in Indiana Dunes National Park: Portage Lakefront
and Riverwalk; and in Beverly Shores, Lakeview Beach and Picnic Area and
Central Ave. Beach.
West Beach remains
open but will have limited lifeguard coverage for the remainder of the
swimming season. Also open but always unguarded: Porter Beach, Kemil Beach,
Dunbar Beach, and Mt. Baldy Beach. At all of these, beachgoers swim at their
recommend that visitors check for weather warnings online and be on the
lookout for warning signs on the beaches indicating unsafe swimming
conditions like high waves or rip currents. Rip currents are dangerous and
can overpower even the strongest swimmers. “If you are caught in a rip
current, it is crucial that you swim parallel to the shore until you are out
of the current’s pull,” the PCCRVC said.
“Many people forget
that Lake Michigan can have the same force as the ocean,” said Dustin
Ritchea, production director for the PCCRVC. “It’s imperative that safety
guidelines be followed at all times when swimming, especially at your own
Indiana Dunes State
Park and Indiana Dunes National Park have both seen larger than usual crowds
during the COVID-19 pandemic, and smaller beach parking lots can fill
quickly and early. West Beach has by far the largest parking lot at the
National Park, but even that lot can fill up on crowded days.
arriving are encouraged to call the beach parking lot hotline at (219)
395-1003 for regular bulletins on parking availability.
“We’d like to
remind people to wear a mask and practice social-distancing while enjoying
the beaches and other areas in the park, so that we can keep the parks open
for residents and visitors to enjoy safely and responsibly," said Michelle
Senderhauf, communications director for the PCCRVC.