Chuck soaks up the sun at Indiana's first national park

Chuck Lofton travels northwest to visit Indiana Dunes, the state's first national park. (WTHR Staff)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — I must admit: like every Hoosier, I know the basics about the Indiana Dunes, but it took a day-long trip to this newly declared National Park to grasp its size, history and importance to our state. In fact, in February, President Trump signed legislation making the Dunes the country’s 61st National Park and the first in Indiana.

We met a couple of park rangers at the base of Mount Baldy, the ever-changing, slowly moving 126-foot tall sand dune for an incredible view of the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. Right now, Baldy is moving 5 to 10 feet a year, and it’s already encroaching on a parking lot. The base of Baldy is now cordoned off, which is troubling news.

It’s also alarming to see the erosion that is literally consuming some of the beaches on the parks 15 acres of land; however, there is still plenty of park land to hike, visit and savor.

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My favorite beach at Indiana Dunes is West Beach, technically in Gary. Lots of young people, especially families with children, were enjoying the beach and the 68-degree water. Even though the beach has reduced in size due to erosion, there was plenty of space for the people to swim or soak in the sun.

Indiana Dunes is simply beautiful and well worth the drive to this Hoosier treasure.

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