Chesterton Tribune



Lake Michigan shelf ice deadly; see it safely March 1 and 22 at Indiana Dunes State Park

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But perilous.

The shelf ice which has swarmed the Lake Michigan coastline is both beautiful and potentially deadly, and folks who visit Indiana Dunes State Park to see it must see it from a distance.

“People should stay off the shelf ice, which is much weaker than ice sheets that form on inland lakes,” State Park interpretive naturalist Brad Bumgardner says. “Shelf ice forms as waves push ice chunks together, resulting in a conglomeration of frozen pieces full of air pockets and weak spots.”

“People should never attempt to walk on it,” Bumgardner adds. “It’s not stable and cave-ins have occurred recently. Warming spring conditions will only make it more dangerous.”

There are, however, safe opportunities for people who want a better look at the ice. In March, the park’s interpretive staff will offer two shelf ice exploration programs, on Saturday, March 1, and Saturday, March 22, both at 2 p.m., with a bird’s eye view of the shelf ice from atop the historic Pavilion on the beach.

You can even see the shelf ice from home through a new video on the Indiana Dunes Tourism website

For more information, call (219) 926-1390.


Posted 2/13/2104