Erosion forces closure of Pictured Rocks dune area

GRAND MARAIS – The National Park Service has closed a portion of the Grand Sable Dunes at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore because of hazardous erosion.

Park officials said Tuesday the northeast section of the Grand Sable Dunes – which are situated along Lake Superior at the east end of the park – is rapidly and unpredictably eroding into Sable Creek and Lake Superior.

“Due to erosion that has occurred over the last several months, the dunes are unstable and on the verge of collapse,” Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Superintendent Mike Pflaum said in a news release. “The dune instability is a threat to human life and safety. We are currently evaluating the extent of the erosion and posting the area as closed to all public access.”

The closure area is roughly 14 acres and begins at the Ghost Forest Trail off the west end of the Sable Falls parking lot. From there, the closure extends north to Lake Superior and then along the shoreline to the west side of Sable Creek.

Park staff said the trail to Sable Falls, which is situated along the east side of the creek, remains open.

For more information, contact the Grand Sable Visitor Center at 494-2660.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.