I would recommend checking the trail map before you go since there wasn’t one readily available at the trailhead when we visited.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Trail Difficulty: Moderate, with some bigger hills.
Dogs Allowed? Yes, this is a popular spot for dogs–but they are NOT allowed on the beach, just on the trails.
Facilities: Port-a-potty facilities are available at the trailhead and at the lake.
Stroller Friendly? No.
Time of Year Accessible: Open year-round.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Saugatuck Dunes State Park in Michigan is a day use park – there is no camping here. The park is quite rustic – there are no boat launches here either, making this a harder-to-get to beach that keeps the number of people down in the summer, especially on the north end.
We hit the beach trail (the yellow trail). It featured markers along the way stating “beach trail, to the beach” which is helpful if you get turned around. The trail has some decent hills, but my kindergartner tackled them with enthusiasm.
If you want to head straight to the beach, the shortest trail is 0.6 miles one way over a sandy trail. Follow the black dotted line on this map to take the shortest route to the beach.
While we didn’t check every trail, I would not recommend a stroller for this hike.
The beach trail goes through a hilly, wooded area and ends at Lake Michigan (with another port-a-potty located at the end of the trial).
The North Trail goes through a wonderful grove of pines and involves a hearty climb at one point.
We had a lot of fun climbing, hiking, and wave watching once we got there.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park has 2.5 miles of shoreline, so feel free to explore a bit!
According to the trail map, all the trails end with a scenic overlook of the lake–which makes any hike worthwhile.
With multiple trail options, this is a place you could visit again and again with your family!
There is a small covered pavilion with picnic tables near the parking lot. We grabbed a picnic table and rewarded our hard work with a snack.
Parking fees for Saugatuck Dunes State Park are covered by a Recreational Passport sticker on your license plate–or it’s $9 for a day pass. In the off-season, it operates on an honor system with a box for you to leave your money.
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Caitlin is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys dancing in the kitchen, eating breakfast foods, and reading too many books at once. She is a coffee enthusiast and lover of Lake Michigan. She lives on a small hobby farm and vineyard in Grand Haven with her husband and two young kids.