Chesterton Tribune



NPS to offer parking info line this summer

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Severe shoreline 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.

This information wil be updated regularly throughout the day during beach season between the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.

“The information 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.

Meanwhile, Porter 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.

“National park 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.

To avoid 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.”


Posted 5/22/2020




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