Stay At Wickwood Inn & Explore The Saugatuck Dunes State Park Any Time Of Year!
Posted on: February 23, 2017 | Posted in: Getaways
“If you are looking to visit a state park and check out a beautiful small town, Saugatuck is the place for you!”
~Trip Advisor Review, January 2017
“Loved hiking here. We have been here year round and it is just as lovely, no matter what time of year.”
~Trip Advisor Review, Spring 2016
Not only is The Saugatuck Dunes State Park considered a gem for locals and tourists alike, it has been named One Of America’s Most Endangered Historic Places. This pristinely preserved park has 14 miles of hiking trails that lead you into 1000 acres of rolling, wooded dunes that tower up to 200 feet tall.
The park also boasts 2.5 miles of secluded Lake Michigan Beach. There aren’t many places in the state that can claim this much protected beach available for public access.
The natural beauty of the Saugatuck Dunes is less than five miles away from Wickwood Inn. Enjoy a hike before our Farm To Table Champagne brunch, or take a bottle of wine with you for sunset after Sips & Small Plates.
Yes, getting to the beach involves a little effort (if you take the most direct path, the beach is a minimum of a 0.6 mile hike from the parking area), but in this case, the joy is found in both the journey and the destination!
Here’s an Insider’s Guide to get you out on the trails.
“Those dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona and the Yosemite to California.
They constitute a signature of time and eternity.
Once lost, the loss would be irrevocable.”
~ Carl Sandburg
The park’s 14-mile network of footpaths is divided into three basic loops referred to on park maps as: North Trail, Beach Trail, and South Trail. All are wide paths and well marked with location maps at almost every junction.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park: Livingston Trail Loop:
This loop is a combination of the North Trail, a beach walk and a return via Livingston Trail. The moderate, 3.4-mile route offers a pleasant mix of open dunes, stands of pine and hardwoods, impressive overviews of Lake Michigan from high, sandy bluffs, and a stroll down a pristine, sandy beach for more than a mile.
If you take this hike midday on a summer weekend you may see some other hikers and beach goers.
Many other times, however, you may not encounter any people at all! Of course, this delicious solitude also increases your chances for enjoying the birds and wildlife.
Birders may spot brown thrashers, grosbeaks, pileated woodpeckers, tufted titmice, and even great horned owls. Experienced birders find the park rich in species, including the common tern (which is not such a common sight in Michigan anymore).
No big predators here, but you may see a variety of woodland animals such as whitetail deer, woodchuck, chipmunk, rabbit, and raccoon.
South Trail Loop:
The best way to access this trail is from the large gravel parking lot in Shore Acres Township Park, adjacent to Saugatuck Dunes. From this start point, the hike is about 4. 5 miles. Parking in the State Park lot adds about one more mile to the hike.
The southern part of the State Park is 300 acres of designated natural area and is separated from the north by about 60 acres of private property. The South Trail is the only way to access this part of the park, and since it is also the longest loop, it tends to be less busy than the others.
For more details of this hike, including photos, maps, and video, visit MyMichiganTrips.com.
In addition to enjoying Saugatuck’s Dunes at the State Park, you may also want to challenge yourself by hiking up the 302 stairs of the dune at Mt. Baldhead Park.
As one Trip Advisor review exclaims, “The staircase from hell, but the views are worth it!”
After all that exercise, why not take an exhilarating tour of these majestic dunes? The Saugatuck Dune Rides provide 40 minutes of gorgeous scenery, fun facts, and loads of laughs for all.
Wickwood Inn provides the perfect home base for all of your outdoor excursions.
Centrally located in the heart of Saugatuck’s historic downtown, we’ll prepare for you an amazing Farm To Table Brunch, plus piping hot coffee or tea, and get you on your way.
Of course, when you’re ready to return to relaxation and pampering, our Happy Hour of Sips & Small Plates awaits.
At any time, you can ask our expert staff about trail maps, snow shoe, ski or bike rentals, or where to enjoy the most delicious, handcrafted après cocktail.
Escape from it all. Plan your Saugatuck getaway. Explore our dunes and stroll our beaches. Reserve your room at Wickwood Inn today,