erosion along Lake Michigan and the need for social-distancing “will make
for a very different beach season this summer at Indiana Dunes National
Park,” the National Park Service (NPS) is warning folks.
To assist the
public in finding an open beach and one with available parking, NPS has
created a beach parking information phone line.
Beginning at 9 a.m.
Saturday, May 23, the public can call (219) 395-1003 for recorded
information on available parking at Indiana Dunes National Park and nearby
Indiana Dunes State Park.
wil be updated regularly throughout the day during beach season between the
Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
can help visitors avoid smaller national park beaches and parking lots like
Porter, Kemil, and Mt. Baldy that tend to fill early on weekends and make
social-distancing more difficult,” NPS said.
Beach--closed recently due to overcrowding--will re-open for the Memorial
Day weekend, but NPS and Town of Porter authorities “will be monitoring it
closely,” NPS noted.
Access to the beach
at Portage Lakefront has also been restored in time for the holiday weekend.
rangers and local officials will be monitoring park beaches and lots for
overcrowding and dangerous conditions and will close them if needed to
protect public health,” NPS said.
overcrowding at the smaller beaches over the Memorial Day weekend, NPS is
specifically recommending that visitors use Indiana Dunes State Park or West
Beach instead. “Both have extensive beaches, large parking lot, bath houses,
concessions, and lifeguards. Signage to West Beach from Ind. 49 is being
improved to help direct people. Admission will be free at West Beach on
Memorial Day weekend.”
“Visitors are urged
to stay safe by practicing social-distancing on the beaches to protect their
health and that of other visitors,” NPS added. “Also, Lake Michigan can be a
very dangerous place. Don’t swim when there are large waves due to the
danger of rip currents. If you have children or non-swimmers, keep them
within arm’s reach when in the water or use one of the lifeguarded beaches
at West Beach or the state park.”