Hike the Trails at Rosy Mound Natural Area
|Rosy Mound Natural Area|
13925 Lakeshore Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417
Rosy Mound Natural Area in Grand Haven is easily my favorite place to go for a quick hike. By now you know that I’ve seen my fair share of trails in West Michigan – and it still gets my top vote!
Maybe it’s my favorite because I call Grand Haven home and can hike it whenever my heart pleases (which is often), but I think it has more to do with the sweeping lake views.
The main trail runs from the parking lot about .7 miles over the dune to end at Lake Michigan. Once you get to the lake, there’s a smaller boardwalk loop that goes by the dunes.
There is public beach access and restrooms at the end of the trail, so feel free to bring your towel and swimsuit and stay awhile! (Note: as of summer 2019, there is not much beach space left due to high water levels.)
Work Up a Sweat Before You Jump in Lake Michigan
Rosy Mound Natural Area at a Glance
Trail Difficulty: Moderate with lots of stairs.
Dogs Allowed? No, and you will be fined for bringing a dog.
Facilities: Restrooms in the parking lot and by the lake (to the left at the fork).
Stroller Friendly? No.
Time of Year Accessible: Open year-round from 7:00 AM to dusk (10:00 PM March-October and 8:00 PM the rest of the year).
It’s important to note that Rosy Mound has a lot of stairs. It actually has 360 stairs, to be precise!
With kids ages about 2 through 4 years old, this can be tricky to manage. If you can wear your little one in a baby carrier, it’s perfect (and a super-fun cardio challenge). Once my oldest hit about 4 years old, he could hike there and back without needing a “ride” from Mom or Dad for part of it.
As you hike back to the parking lot, there’s a split in the trail and I’d advise you to go to the right (the Acorn Trail) and hike through the beautiful pine forest.
It’s just a little longer than the other trail, so the scenic route is the easy option if your kids are still hanging in there!
Unlike a lot of our recent hikes that have been dog-friendly, you cannot take your dog here (you not only can’t take your dog, but you’ll be fined if you do). If you’re looking for stairs and a lake view that’s dog-friendly, check out Kirk Park farther south on Lakeshore Drive.
The Best Time to Hike Rosy Mound? Always!
I find this trail magical in every season. (Don’t forget to download the trail map in advance.)
It’s lovely during autumn as the trees change colors down the shoreline. It’s beautiful in the spring as the wildflowers pop out from the forest floor. It’s even pretty spectacular during the winter as you take in the silent, frozen lake (but the trail does get slippery, so hike with caution and good shoes).
It is busiest during the summer months and parking fees are enforced Memorial Day through Labor Day. If you frequent some other family-favorite Ottawa County parks and beaches (like Kirk Park or North Beach Park), it’s worth it to get a parking pass for the year.