If you live in Michigan, you probably already know that fall is one of our best seasons. Not that we’re hating on summer or anything, but sometimes you just can’t beat those crisp fall mornings, and it’s nice to have the humidity below 100% for a little while. What’s more, those 55º mornings are perfect to throw on a light jacket and hit the trails to check out some of Michigan’s beautiful color. If you’re in the Grand Haven area for the weekend, here’s a few spots perfect for one of those hikes:
Whether you’re just visiting Grand Haven, or you live here year-round, Rosy Mound is one hike you absolutely must go on, no matter the time of year. Of course, we’re partial to fall, but with gorgeous views of the beach and expansive rolling sand dunes, you really can’t beat Rosy Mound any season. If you’re looking to bring the kids along, this hike will guarantee they’re asleep before you pull out of the parking lot. With 1,000 feet of stairs up and down the dunes, and a grand total of two miles of hiking area, this is not your typical walk in the park. Typically referred to as strenuous, the actual hike directly from the parking lot to the lakeshore is about 0.7 miles, but we assure you all the work is worth it. Lake Michigan in the fall is a sight to be seen!
Just a short 15 minute drive from downtown Grand Haven, the Minnie Skwarek Nature Preserve offers just about everything you could imagine in terms of wildlife and foliage. Not only does the preserve boast flocks of songbirds, upland meadows, and wetlands, but it also has beautiful trails snaking through hardwood forests that are best appreciated during the fall. As you wander through the preserve, you’ll be able to see all of the bright colors of fall, and maybe even some wildlife! The preserve has both hiking trails and boardwalks, so just about anyone can enjoy the natural beauty of this hiking spot.
If you’re looking for a little adventure in your fall hike, check out Robinson forest right in Grand Haven! While this 80 acre Open Space Land has no hiking trails, the great forest of mixed hardwoods, conifers and even red pine trees make this the ultimate West Michigan fall hiking destination. Robinson Forest is a great place to get into off-trail hiking, and it’s close enough to Grand Haven that you don’t have to worry about getting lost. As this is an Open Space Land, take care to watch for hunters, and wear bright colored clothing during the hunting season.
For a longer hike in the Grand Haven area, check out Pigeon Creek Park. Offering more than 10 miles of hiking trails, you’re sure to find a route that satisfies even the most avid hiker. The winding Pigeon Creek trails explore miles of deciduous forests, old pine plantations, and bottomland forests near the Pigeon River. For the ultimate experience, make sure to check out one or two of the stunning overlooks that offer a pristine view of the Pine River among the red and gold colors of fall.
Another forest hike along the Pine River, Hemlock Crossing is a fantastic place to observe Michigan’s beautiful fall color. If you fancy a fall cookout, this is the place to do it! Hemlock crossing offers grills and picnic shelters for visitors, so feel free to bring your cooler. One of the biggest claim to fame for this hike is their unique wooden pedestrian bridge that offers stunning overlook views of the fall foliage surrounding the Pine River. Make sure to stop off at the Nature Education Center while you’re there too. The kids will love the wildlife den full of Michigan native critters, as well as the wildlife viewing area where you can see birds, deer, and all kinds of other animals at the feeders.
Now that you know where to go, get out there! Fall doesn’t last long in the Midwest, so check out the colors before it snows. And remember, if you need anything for your hike, be it trail shoes or a new Yeti Rambler for your coffee, head on over to Earth’s Edge or see what our new website has to offer!