top 15 Outstanding Things to Do
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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a treasure of diverse natural resources located within an urban setting. Immediately inland from the beaches, sand dunes rise to almost 200 feet in a series of ridges, blowouts, and valleys. The park landscape represents at least four major successive stages of historic Lake Michigan shorelines, making it one of the most extensive geologic records of one of the world’s largest, fresh water bodies. Walk along a marked trail to the summit of Mt. Baldy. At 126 feet high and moving inward at an average rate of four feet per year, Mt. Baldy is the largest moving dune within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It is moving at about four feet a year. Beach sand moves when the prevailing northwest wind exceeds 7 m.p.h. The half-buried trees on its south slope attest to its movement. Without vegetation to hold the sand, Mount Baldy will continue its deliberate march inland.
In the Indiana Dunes State Park, evidence of Nature’s control of shifting sands can be found where the base of the dunes meets the more level lakeshore. This foredune area is characterized by a series of hills and swales. Mt. Tom, at 186 feet above the lake, is the highest of these ridge tops. Wind erosion has cut depressions, called blowouts, through these ridges. The 3 largest of these blowouts, Beach House, Furnessville, and Big Blowout, extend into the interdunes area of hills, pockets, and troughs. Big Blowout has uncovered an area of dead tree trunks known as the Tree Graveyard. This area was once a white pine forest before shifting sands buried it. Over 16 miles of hiking trails wind through the park including those that will take you up and over Mt. Tom and the other high dunes.