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Notes from the Northwest Indiana Traveler        <Back to Traveler Main Page
by Erin  Read my "disclaimer"...

A Day at Mt. Baldy: What a View!

MtBaldyJune2401.jpg (15530 bytes)
Click for larger view.
Ahhhh.  What a terrific early summer day I had at Mt. Baldy.  And what a view!   The day was just spectacular.  There was a bit of haze (surely pollution) on the water's far horizon, but the overall blue qualified as awesome.  Despite the bright sun, I didn't want to wear my sunglasses; I wanted to soak in all the blue and view I could get!  I even overheard some sun bathers remarking that the area looked like the beaches in Mexico.  I had to agree.  
For my visit, I plopped my beach towel at the pinnacle of Mt. Baldy.  I figured, why not?  At this point I was able to see white boats speckling the lake to the northwest, lush green tree tops to the south, and seagulls flying to the west (and below since I was up so high).  I felt I was nearly on top of the world (actually 123 feet higher than usual, according to the informant at an area welcome center).  And I was surprised to find that nearly the whole time I was at the pinnacle of Mt. Baldy, I pretty much had the place to myself.  During my three hours there, probably only six youngsters ventured to the top, all amazed (like me) at the steep drop off at the "rear" side of the giant dune.  There was plenty more room for more at this dune's peak.  (Try this web page for some Mt. Baldy facts and specifics.)
MtBaldyMichCity01.jpg (32292 bytes)
Click for larger view.
But when you look around at Mt. Baldy, you will see that the view isn't absolute bliss in nature.  Also in your view are the cooling tower of Michigan City (east) and the prison (south).  Still, this is one of the most spectacular views in Northwest Indiana.  Whether you've been to Mt. Baldy before or have never been, please feel encouraged to visit this summer.  
In all seriousness, I say, "Thank God for the efforts of Dorothy Buell and U.S. Senator Paul Douglas" and of course others who back in the mid-1900s saved Mt. Baldy, other dunes, and 8,000 acres of lakeshore.  (See http://www.savedunes.org/ for historical information and more on the value of the dunes.)  Surely today, the view would have looked less like the photos above and more like an industry infested area that people could not access and enjoy, if it weren't for the preserving efforts of Buell, Douglas and many others.
I have just a couple of tips for visiting Mt. Baldy.  1)  Make sure you can carry all your beach gear in one trip.  It is necessary to climb the dune to access the beach, and you like will not want to climb the dune multiple times simply because you left your sunscreen or sand pail in the car.  2)  Get to Mt. Baldy early in the day, due to the limited parking.  When I left the dune in the early afternoon, the lot was full and beach-goers were resorting to parking a good distance away, then walking along Route 12, which didn't really look safe or ideal.
After your visit to Mt. Baldy, consider some of these nearby attractions and great places.  Michigan City is a great place for more summer-time fun and locating ice cream shops.  Baily Homestead / Chellberg Farm is just about a ten minute drive west of Mt. Baldy and is located on Mineral Springs Road between Routes 12 and 20.
Oh, and consider taking your camera or binoculars for making the view at Mt. Baldy a bit more memorable and impressive.
Article written June 25, 2001



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