Every summer my family makes a trip to the Warren Dunes State Park in southwestern Michigan. Only an hour and a half drive from the western suburbs of Chicago, it is well worth the trip and change of scenery. I call it paradise for a day. Coming from a large family our group changes up every year, but there are always two things that stay constant: The “big dune climb,” and dinner at Redamak’s on the way home.
Warren Dunes falls into the category termed open dunes. Made up mostly of sandy hills, grasses, trees and shrubs, open dunes are located along a body of water in this case the shores of Lake Michigan.
Day Trip Warren Dunes Part 1 – The Sand
People travel from all around and often annually to soak up the sun, sand and surf that Warren Dunes State Park has to offer. Many visitors partake in making the pilgrimage to the top of what is known as Tower Hill. Although not nearly the tallest dune in the world, it is approximately 260 feet up. Don’t quote me on exact footage, but it can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes to climb on average. Once the top is reached some people hang out and take in the view for a while.
Some people even surf down the hill like this crazy-fun couple from YouTube. They have put together an artsy, but very well done video. It offers vivid, gorgeous coverage of the scenery. Check it out if you really want to experience the feel of being at the Warren Dunes, although fair warning, you might see the moon.
The majority of the beach is layered with soft sand but shells, rocks and other shore side finds are fairly easy to come by. This is part of our collection for the day, which I just so happened to use in the bottom of my herbs in a jar project.
The beach offers a one stop snack shop, kayak rental, arcade machines for the little ones, a changing area and restrooms; making it all that much easier to show up at 9am and stay till the sun starts to set.
Our group is usually one of the last to leave the beach and then it’s off down Rt.12 we go headed toward our dinner destination. Read Part 2: The Sandwiches…