´¯`•. August 15, 2016

Hiking: The Saugatuck Beach Trail

From our days of hiking with Ashley, years ago, we’ve a favorite family jaunt.  Of all the hikes we went on, the Saugatuck North Trail was hands down everyone’s preference, should we decide to take an impromptu trip out.  It has the perfect variety of terrain, starting in a deciduous hardwood forest, meandering up a hill and into an incredible stand of towering pines (which smell so lovely!), then out to a dune, and down to the beach.  From there, it loops up another dune, then hits a beautiful prairie grassland area, before turning and heading back into the trees for shade, and looping back to the parking lot.

Up until three weeks ago, this was the only trail we bothered with in this recreational area, in spite of the fact that there was a ‘Beach Trail’ to the south of the parking lot.  Well, this time, we decided to be adventurous and take the southern trail, instead!  The south trail is by far more popular than the one we loved, so we were naturally curious as to why.

All ready to go!

In hindsight, we were sorry that we hadn’t brought along a plastic sack to collect trash in, because the people along the Beach Trail obviously don’t subscribe to a ‘Leave No Trace‘ mentality.  It was dirty.  It was trampled, littered up, and not a nice hike.  We wished for something to put garbage in, because the kids wanted to clean it SO badly.  I can’t for the life of me understand why people prefer that trail over ours… but honestly?  I’m grateful.  It keeps our favorite trail nicer!

Busier, and much more littered up.
lotst of spacing againOnly pretty thing on the trail was this tree.
spaceI’m not sure, but does this ugly thing on a bench stand for a Pokemon pitstop?

Regardless, we had fun.  It was a brilliantly sunny, extremely hot day (up in the nineties, and we Michiganders melt, you know!)… so we brought along our tubes and sunscreen, snorkles and masks, and headed out into the water.  I wasn’t sure how cold it would be – Lake Michigan is a BIG lake, and therefore takes a long time to warm up compared to the other lakes in our state.  But it was beautiful.

Isaac, being Isaac.
space space spaceLydia and Ethan (and Aaron), enjoying the water.

I was so surprised that the water was so enjoyable.  There were layers within it, it seemed.  From the armpits up, it was warm.  From the waist up, it was cool.  From the waist down it was chilly, but refreshing.  Not so cold that we couldn’t enjoy it, so it was perfect, IMHO.  Besides, such a calm and sunny day?  What better place to wind up than the beach?


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