With many of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore beach access points closed due to "Emergency Conditions" as they put it, the areas which traditionally have the best looking shelf ice are difficult to view. Determined to see the ice before it completely melted, we hiked along the waters edge from Lakeview Beach to Kintzele Ditch - a 3.5 mile hike each way. Even though beach access is closed, the water's edge is part of the public trust zone, hence the public cannot be denied access. For the same reason, property owners along the beach cannot chase away the public from the water's edge.
The 57 degree temperatures and bright sun made this February hike enjoyable. There was plenty of shelf ice left, and many pieces were isolated in the water like islands, no longer attached to the shore by ice. The waves moved in and removed the smaller, floating pieces of ice, leaving the huge mounds to withstand the pounding waves.
Looking more like a scene from the arctic, the Lake Michigan shore was once again transforming before our eyes.
Posted by Tom Gill at Sunday, February 21, 2016