West Michigan’s best hikes to the beach

Ottawa County

Rosy Mound Natural Area south of Grand Haven on May 26, 2021. (Luke Stier/WOOD TV8)

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Sometimes the hike to Lake Michigan is just as scenic as the beach itself. Here’s a look at some of the best beach hikes in West Michigan.

Rosy Mound Natural Area

South of Grand Haven
13925 Lakeshore Drive
Grand Haven, MI 49417

There are moments during this hike to the beach that you’ll think you are in the Sleeping Bear Dunes up north. The .7 mile hike is scenic and, at times, difficult.

The start of the hike is flat and takes you through woods that are filled with wildlife. Then the climbing begins. Two steep flights of stairs take you to the top of the dune, where you can take a moment to recover while enjoying a spectacular view of the lakeshore. From there, it’s all downhill to the beach.

Most of the path is heavily shaded. The path is a mix of hardened dirt and wooden stairs. You may want to wear shoes to make it a little easier, but you can do it in flip flops if you prefer.

Rosy Mound park website


North of Saugatuck
6575 138th Ave.
Saugatuck Dunes MI, 49453

Saugatuck Dunes is unique because it offers you several different hikes to the beach, allowing you to come back multiple times without repeating the same experience.

The shortest hike is on Beach Trail. The 0.6 mile dirt path is relatively flat and takes you through the forest to the beach.

The North, Livingston and South trails are all longer and more difficult. Each takes you through beautiful wooded areas and up and over multiple dunes.

All of the walks are heavily shaded and end at the beach. The paths are a mix of hardened dirt and sand. You may want to wear shoes to make it a little easier, but you can do it in flip flops.

Saugatuck Dunes park website


Near Holland
66 Lakeshore Drive N
Holland, MI 49424

You won’t need your hiking shoes here. The walk to the beach at Tunnel Park is short and easy, but it is one of the best entrances to any beach.

Instead of having to climb over the dune, there is a tunnel that takes you straight through it.

Walking through the tunnel feels like the entrance to Michigan Stadium. When you emerge, you get an excellent view of Lake Michigan and to the south, Big Red lighthouse in Holland.

Tunnel Park website

Below, see an interactive map of beaches all along the Lake Michigan shoreline. You can see the amenities at each:

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