The Porter Beach area of the Indiana Dunes National Park has been temporarily closed because of "unsafe health conditions related to overcrowding, unsafe sanitation practices, and lack of social distancing pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic," the park stated in a news release Wednesday afternoon.
"The park reminds visitors to please comply with the CDC's recommended safe practices and the Indiana governor's orders associated with the pandemic when visiting the national park," Bruce Rowe, supervisory park ranger/public information officer for the park, said in the news release. "United States law enforcement Park Rangers will be patrolling the area, and those found violating this order can be charged criminally."
All of the park trails and most beaches of the National Park remain open.
"Many of these areas are receiving heavy use during the pandemic. If a parking lot is full, please find another area of the park to visit so that social distancing and public health and safety can be maintained," the release states. "For the safety of the public and park staff, buildings, restrooms and the Dunewood Campground remain closed, and trash cans are not being emptied. Please use restrooms prior to visiting or leave the park if you need a restroom break. Please pack all of your trash out of the park."
Park officials said they expect the Porter Beach area to open later this month.
"Park staff are consulting with federal, state and local authorities to determine when it is safe to reopen all park facilities," the release states.