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Happy/Healthy Faces

   

Mount Baldy
Hwy 12 & County Line Road, Michigan City

View from the Top of Mount BaldyThe Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is Northwest Indiana's jewel. Stretching along Lake Michigan's southern shoreline, the dunes provide an ecosystem unlike any other. The National Lakeshore stretches along 18 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, encompassing 14,000 acres of forest, marsh, dunes, and beach. The park is home to 1,500 species of plants ranging from arctic bearberry to cactus.

In Michigan City, the National Lakeshore features miles of wooded hiking trails, beautiful beaches, and impressive sand dunes. Centuries ago, glaciers, moving and carving the land in their wake, created Mount Baldy and the surrounding area as the Ice Age came to an end. Today, Mount Baldy stands an imposing 123 feet tall and is the largest "living" dune that marram grass and cottonwood trees cannot hold in place. This giant mound of sand actually moves south at a rate of four to five feet each year, burying all woodlands in its path. Mount Baldy is the perfect destination for outdoor activities. Sunning on its broad face is popular in summer months, as is watching colorful sunsets over the lake. On clear days, one can see the Chicago skyline from atop this giant dune. Hikers delight in tackling Mount Baldy on a hike through the forest that splits half way to either go directly to the summit or to the beach.

Pinhook Bog offers visitors a glimpse of an extraordinarily unique ecosystem. It was created around the end of the Wisconsin Ice Age, when massive chunks of ice dropped off slowly melting glaciers filling large impressions with water. It is part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and was formed in a massive bowl of clay soil, which isolated the lake from any other ground water. Because there was no way for water to circulate into the lake it began to stagnate. The Bog over time became covered with moss, forming a carpet of organic material so acidic that only unusual plants and flowers could adapt to grow. and others come to walk on the boardwalk and feel the waterbed of spaghnum moss move under their feat. Pinhook Bog is accessible from mid-April to mid-October on guided ranger hikes of up to 15 participants. Please call the Dorothy Buell Visitor Center at (219) 926-7561 extension 225 for more information.

A Leap from the TopWhile enjoying the lakeshore and dunes environment, visitors can take part in many activities, including swimming, climbing, hiking, camping, fishing and boating, picnicking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, environmental education programs and special events. Scheduled ranger-guided activities are available throughout the year and the Visitor Center provides a great information outlet on the dunes area, its background and available activities.

 

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