A day-use park along a secluded strip of Lake Michigan shoreline, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers 1,000 acres of land with 2.5 miles of shore line. The Lake Michigan beach is a 0.6 mile hike from the picnic parking area. In addition, the park has fresh water coastal dunes that are over 200 feet tall. The park's terrain varies from steep slopes to rolling hills. The park, located in Allegan County, is relatively undeveloped. The land for Saugatuck Dunes was acquired in 1971 from the Augustinian Order, who used the buildings as a seminary. When the state took ownership, the structures were used as a prison and state police offices. The park's major attractions are the long sandy beaches and the 300-acre natural area, which contains a coastal dune system, as well as three endangered plant species. Nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers and hikers are the predominant day users.
There are definitely better beaches on Lake Michigan. This one is vastly more secluded than others, though it was still fairly crowded on an August Saturday. We naively did "beach day" with coolers and food and tents, this was not the right location for that. The walk through the park to the shore was 3/4 mile, and somehow uphill both ways. If we hadn't been hauling crap for 5 people plus lunch and snacks and two umbrella/tents it would have been beautiful and enjoyable. The beach area has largely been consumed by grass, there is about a 1/2 mile stretch of sandy beach that is about 25 feet deep from water to dune. Beautiful, but probably not the best.
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Saugatuck Dunes State Park
- Mon: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
- Fri: 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
- Sun: 7:00 am - 7:00 pm
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