Lake Michigan beaches suffered recently from the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic, which closed or limited access, and to historically high water levels, with erosion and flooding causing widespread damage.
The 2021 beach season — traditionally beginning Memorial Day — looks like it’s starting on brighter note with COVID-19 mitigations becoming less strict and water levels also on the dropping. Many beaches will be closer to normal than 2020.
Deanna Apps, a physical scientist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Detroit District, told the Tribune that most of the Great Lakes region saw drier conditions toward the end of 2020 through this year leaving lake levels in between. “We’re kind of in the middle there,” Apps said. “We’re about a foot and a half above average, and a foot and a half below record highs, roughly.”
Read more on where Lake Michigan stands this year and what it means for beach season. Read more here on how climate change is affecting the Great Lakes.
Here are the public beaches from Michigan City, Ind., to Zion along with hours, directions and helpful links. As always, conditions vary and beach access will depend on weather as well as the direction of the pandemic.