A sandy beach, inland lakes, ponds, and wetlands: these are just a few of the natural features that have made Grand Mere State Park, on Lake Michigan, a National Natural Landmark. This 985 acre park in southwest Michigan is a delight at any time of year, whether you're looking for peaceful beach time or autumnal hiking. Nearby Grand Mere State Park hotels offer pleasant respite at the end of a day outdoors.
Places to Stay Near to Grand Mere State Park
Best Hiking Trails in Grand Mere State Park
Although the park does not offer cabin facilities, look into Grand Mere State Park cabins located adjacent to the park, and immerse yourself in the park's diverse nature trails.
1. Baldtop Loop
This two-mile trail is set along the park's dunes, offering scenic views of Lake Michigan. The trail is moderately tricky owing to the steep climb up Baldtop Dune, the park's highest.
2. Grand Mere State Park Nature Trail
This is the park’s main trail. Stretching for half a mile, it is paved and is ADA accessible. At the end of the paved trail is a sandy trail that heads west into the Lake Michigan sand dunes.
3. Unmarked Trail
The rest of the park's four miles of trails are not marked, so keep in mind that if you're ready for a longer hike, you'll need a GPS of some sort. One trail you can find fairly easily is a mile long, running from the parking lot by Wishart Road to the start of the Nature Trail.
Best Family Activities in Grand Mere State Park
Aside from hiking, visitors can enjoy a range of activities. Just remember to come prepared from Grand Mere State Park cabins, as this undeveloped park offers no concessions or facilities.
1. Bird watching
Grand Mere State Park is along a major migration flyway, and thus birders flock to the park in spring and fall. You can spot over 250 species of birds in the area, including hawks, common loons, waterfowl, warblers, and herons.
2. Cross-country skiing
The park attracts Nordic skiers (with their own skis, as there are no rentals) in winter, who enjoy the park's undeveloped state.
3. Water sports
The park is home to three inland natural lakes, North Lake, South Lake, and Middle Lake. Middle Lake has a public boat launch. Visitors can enjoy swimming, water skiing, and tubing. Middle Lake also contains bass and span fish, for those interested in fishing.
4. Beach days
With about a mile of beach right along Lake Michigan, in warm weather you and the kids can enjoy a day of swimming and playing on this sandy shoreline. Keep in mind there are no lifeguards on duty. Dogs are welcome, as long as they are leashed.