A big reason people love to visit West Michigan is to experience the majestic sand dunes that line the lakeshore. They definitely make for some spectacular views, especially if you are adventurous enough to climb to the top!
If you are heading to Grand Haven, Michigan in search of some sandy shores, you’re in luck. There are several dunes nearby to explore, take photos of, and yes, even climb. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your trip to Grand Haven dunes:
Where to Find The Best Grand Haven Dunes
Just south of downtown Grand Haven you’ll find a county park called Rosy Mound where a trail winds through the woods, and stairs — lots and lots of stairs — take you to the top of the dune. It’s a fairly strenuous climb, but the views are worth every step! There’s also a boardwalk that allows you to journey through the lower dune area if you’d like, or you can take it straight to the beach and go for a swim.
Helpful Tips: 1) Dogs are not allowed at this park, and 2) You’ll need to pay for parking between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Kitchel Lindquist Hartger Dunes Preserve
On the north side of the Grand Haven, MI channel lies 115 acres of protected dunes, featuring an extensive trail system that allows you to experience dune ecology to the fullest. Visit Kitchel Lindquist Hartger Dunes Preserve and you’ll not only take in the natural beauty of this area, but also learn all about how dunes are formed, the types of wildlife and vegetation they support, and what you can do to help protect them.
PJ Hoffmaster State Park
Venture a little further north and you’ll discover Hoffmaster State Park, where you can camp, hike, picnic, swim, and experience some of the highest dunes in the area!
There’s a popular dune climb along the Dune Overlook Trail, and visitors love to tackle the towering dunes from the beach — taking in the panoramic views when they reach the top, then running down directly into beautiful Lake Michigan to cool off.
You can learn more about the dunes by stopping by the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center located within the park.
Helpful Tip: This is a state park, so an entry fee is required.
Grand Haven Dunes Dos and Don’ts To Keep In Mind
While West Michigan dunes are great to explore, there are some things you should know before you go.
- Do make sure you stick to designated trails. This is important to avoid erosion issues, as well as any harm to native vegetation. It also minimizes your risk of ticks hitching a ride home with you.
- Don’t forget your shoes! Going barefoot might be tempting, but the sugary sand along Lake Michigan absorbs heat from the sun and can quickly become so hot, it’ll burn your feet. Beware going bare!
- Do consider visiting the dunes in the spring or fall for lesser crowds and cooler temps.
- Don’t forget to check out everything else Grand Haven has to offer, from beautiful beaches to local restaurants to the Farmer’s Market and activities like charter fishing, golf, and more!
Can’t Get Enough of the Sand Dunes in Grand Haven, MI?
West Michigan communities enjoy gorgeous dune views right outside the window! If you’re considering moving to the West Michigan lakeshore, give BlueWest Properties a call. We have homes available near the Grand Haven dunes that are close to town and minutes from the beach. To learn more about our listings, reach out to our team today.
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