Do you ever feel tired of the daily grind of city life? Wouldn’t you just love to get away from it all, and truly be able to enjoy nature? Then Grand Mere State Park is just the getaway for you! The Park is located in Stevensville, Michigan and is only about an hour and a half northeast of Chicago. It is without question the best outdoor experience available in Southwest Michigan!
Grand Mere State Park has over 985 square acres of sandy hills and dunes. The park contains over four miles of beautiful hiking trails. On the main trail, the first quarter of a mile is paved, but the rest includes a vigorous hike up and down beautiful sandy dunes; it’s a true hikers dream! This trail takes you all the way down to the sandy beach of Lake Michigan. The Lake Michigan beach is located about a half mile from the main parking area.
One of the dunes you will cross on this trek down to Lake Michigan, is unofficially named Bald top. As its name suggests, the top of the dune is free of trees, making for an amazing view of the area! You can see the South Lake and it surrounding wetland areas, and to the west you can see Lake Michigan in all its grandeur.
When you reach Lake Michigan, you will discover that it is absolutely breathtaking at any time of the year! The mile long sandy beach is perfect for romantic walks or just taking in the peaceful scenery. Also, on a windy day, many enjoy wind surfing on Lake Michigan’s impressively large waves.
For bird lovers, you can see a wide variety of species of birds, both along the main trail and many other smaller wooded trails the Park offers. Many have even witnessed large hawks in flight! There are also a great variety of woodland species and migrants. The tall black and red oak trees are truly impressive, and in the fall you can enjoy an amazing color tour in these woods. It is a nature lovers dream!
Grand Mere State Park includes three natural lakes. They are called North Lake, Middle Lake and South Lake. Middle Lake has a boat launch available to the public. So if you come with the whole family, you will want to come equipped to enjoy all your favorite water sports, such tubing and water skiing on this fairly large lake. Fishing is also permitted on this lake, and many fishermen boast about the bass and pan fish that can be caught in Middle Lake.
Want to bring your most loved dog on your trip? Well, you don’t have to worry about leaving him behind this time, the park is dog friendly.
Would you like to get out and enjoy winter this year? All trails are open, though ungroomed, for cross country skiing all winter long. It’s a great opportunity to stay active and enjoy the outdoors even during the winter months!
Hunting is allowed in the State Park, but not with rifles or hand guns. The Park is famous for being a great turkey hunting spot. The hunter will of course need to take into consideration the hunting season, and what can legally be hunted based on state laws.
Grand Mere State Park is without question the perfect choice when you want to get away from the outside world and stresses, and enjoy nature at its best!
For more information, please Grand Mere State Park’s official website at: http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=450&type=SPRK
They can also be reached by phone at 269-426-4013.