A Westside Story: Michigan’s Sand Dunes

Have you ever sat through those “Pure Michigan” ads you might hear on the radio or see on the internet? They wax about wearing your swimming trunks under your suit on a Friday or summer nights around the campfire. Those signature summer nights they are talking about are real. Before I flew home, I asked my Mom if we could please make a quick trip to the Sand Dunes. I am pretty lucky to have her because what she agreed to was a 3.58 mile hike continuously up or down hill. On sand. The brochure cautions people that the duration of the hike is 4 hours, we scoffed that the estimate is for families with children. How wrong we were! I love a challenge and this is certainly yoga for toddlers. The sand dunes and Lake Michigan are one of my favorite ways to appreciate the diversity of Michigan’s nature. Even though you are breathing heavily the whole time, your lungs are filling with fresh air and wind comes off the lake to cool you down. At the bottom of the sand dunes, it becomes so quiet—no cars, no shopping carts, no slamming doors, just you and your thoughts.  The big reward at the halfway point is Lake Michigan, you can swim after hiking for two miles. Everywhere you turn there is beautiful nature scenery which is ageless. The following morning, when you wake up to brush your teeth, I promise you will feel it in your legs. I hope you enjoy the pictures below!

You may think that looks like two small hills, but in reality this was the one mile marker. The promise of Lake Michigan keeps us going.
A view of the smaller lake inland that begins the hike.
The coming storm.

Lake Michigan Shoreline.


3 thoughts on “A Westside Story: Michigan’s Sand Dunes”

  1. Visiting South America for almost three months did something unexpected for me. It made me want to explore those gems in my own vast country. I have explored much of the rocky mountains and the NW but there is so much more. This post is one of those lighthouses for adventure that I look out for. I went to Lake Michigan once when I was young, maybe 10 years old. My moms family had a cabin they rented on the beach. I remember that it was like the ocean. Can’t wait to explore some more.

    1. Thank you! The west side of Michigan is a great place to enjoy “small towns” but in one of the most scenic places I know of. Also, to me, the water is warmer in Lake Michigan than the ocean–but I am biased! Maybe we are having opposite travel patterns because I have only been to the Pacific NW once but it was beautiful. I loved Portland and Mount Hood.

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