I wasn’t really able to get out to explore as much as I’d like since the area of Grand Haven where my brother lives isn’t really walkable. I have a license but haven’t driven in a while so I didn’t want to rent a car. My brother told me I could use one of the bikes, but there isn’t really a bike lane by him. More like a tiny area where cars can pull off of the main road but they’d still partially be on the end of someone’s grass. 😆 However, I did make the most of the times when I was able to get out. One of those times was to visit a place that I’d heard about called Rosy Mound Natural Area.
When you first get there you have to pay to park there, but since I took an Uber I was able to just be dropped off at the entrance. The fee varies, but it’s about $7. Right next to the self service station where you get your ticket are a few signs with a map to help you get the layout of the place. (Side note, I’m still getting used to editing with Capture One, but I think these came out pretty decently.)
There are also signs letting you know that if you swim, you do so at your own risk, so if you’re not a strong swimmer it’s best to just walk along the water.
You have to stick to the paths and not wander off onto the grass or the dunes, so as to preserve the natural beauty of the park. The paths and the trail markers makes it pretty impossible to get lost, even for someone as directionally challenged, such as myself.
The hike is fairly easy, but be warned that there are a lot of stairs that you have to climb almost from the beginning. I walk most places (because I hate public transportation) so it wasn’t too bad for me, but I did have to stop a few times and take a breather. There are benches located throughout the walk, and by the viewing areas, so you can sit down and relax before continuing on your way.However, once you make it past all those stairs, your reward is this amazing view of the wide open space and the beach. The branches in front of it makes it seem like a secret place, hidden from the rest of the world. As an introvert, that idea appeals to me in a big way. This was taken from one of the viewing areas.
Several times I had to just stop and look around. There was just so much wide open space that wasn’t filled with skyscrapers, and shopping malls, and people. You could breathe and not smell exhaust fumes or (as is the case with the subways and some side streets) urine. It was just beautiful, undisturbed nature.
How cool do the dunes look? The day was perfect. Bright sunshine, blue skies, perfect weather. Not hot or humid, just nice and cool. You didn’t even need a jacket.
Speaking of nature, for those of you who get the call of nature, the bathrooms are located both at the entrance to the park (the more modern ones from what I hear), and then you have these that are located by the beach. These look pretty nice, but I can’t speak to the inside since I didn’t have to use the bathroom while I was there. I’m a bit particular about public bathrooms. Me? Particular about something? No way! 😆
I thought that to get to the beach, you had to walk up this steep sand path. Genius here didn’t stop to look around until after I got to the top and saw that there was another path (not made from sand) that made getting to the beach much easier. I was struggling to get up that hill, and getting a butt ton of sand in my sneakers in the process, looking like a bug in a sugar bowl.
My struggles up the hill were rewarded with this amazing shot of the beach below.
If I had known that there was a beach, I would have brought my bathing suit with me, both to Michigan and to Rosy Mound.
I had asked my brother to pick me up on his way home from work, so as he was leaving work by this time, I made my way back up the beach, walked back up the path
Prepared myself for all the stairs I’d have to climb to get back to the trailhead
Not going to lie. I did get a bit lost in this forest area, but only because I got distracted by the cute banter between a father hiking with his three adorable young sons, each son either waving or smiling at me as they walked by me.