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Mount Baldy beach and trail reopens, dune still off-limits

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. --- People flocked to Mount Baldy afternoon after park rangers said it was safe for public.

It’s the first time the beach has been open to the public in four years.

“I got all excited when I heard this opened today,” said Gary Augustine, a Mount Baldy beachgoer.

The beach has been closed since 2013, after a six year old boy fell into a hole near the dune.

“We had an incident on the dune, where a little boy had fell into a hole that at that point was unknown to science,” said Bruce Rowe, a supervisory park ranger at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

The boy was in critical condition but made a miraculous recovery.

Today, park rangers are sure about what’s going on underneath this dune. Rowe said scientists used ground penetrating radar over the past four years to identify 11 other wholes underneath the dune.

“The scientists who have studied it have told us that there’s going to be more holes opening up on the dune so we don’t want people falling into those,” Rowe said.

And with that information, park rangers made the call to keep the dune closed. Right now, signs, fences, and ropes are up to keep people away from it.

“As long as they stay in the areas that are open to the public which is the beach and the trail they’ll be perfectly safe.”

Rowe said the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is excited to have the beach and trail at Mount Baldy open again.

“Folks have been wanting to get back here and get on the beach and we’re really excited that we can finally open.”

Augustine said he has been to a lot of beaches around Lake Michigan and the one at Mount Baldy is the most secure beach he’s seen.

“I feel safe all together,” Augustine said. “They say just stay on the trails and that.”

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