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The Pavilion at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk National Park

Portage Lakefront Pavilion remains open but erosion limits beach access

Contributed By:The 411 News

High lake water levels and waves knock out sand dune

The Pavilion at Indiana Dunes National Park’s Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk remains open and safe for use despite the recent erosion of a sand dune directly west of the pavilion. The National Park Service reports that while access to the beach is not possible due to the erosion, the Pavilion itself remains safe for public use.

Despite the closure of beach access, all other areas of Portage Lakefront remain open to the public, including the pavilion, upland trail, riverwalk and breakwater. Activities, such as park programs, weddings, and public meetings can still take place in the building.

Lake Michigan’s water level remains well above the long-term average. The higher lake level, in combination with recent storm waves, has resulted in continued erosion and narrower beaches along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The National Park Service will continue to monitor the conditions at Portage Lakefront and along the entire 15 miles of park shoreline. The park plans to reestablish a safe beach access trail at Portage Lakefront in time for the summer season.

Portage Lakefront, one of the most popular sites park, is owned by the federal government but jointly operated by the City of Portage and the National Park Service.

The National Park Service and the City of Portage will continue to work with other partners in seeking a sand nourishment solution for the erosion issues at Portage Lakefront. Sand nourishment involves placing sand, obtained from other locations, onto eroded beaches. While this method has to be repeated over time, it is known to be the most effective solution and does not cause damage to neighboring stretches of beach like rock walls or other armoring techniques.

For more information on beach access at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, contact the park’s information desk at 219-395-1882 or go to the web page at www.nps.gov/indu.

Story Posted:11/07/2019

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