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“Don't bother in April”

Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Ranked #4 of 34 things to do in Saugatuck
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The park's 850 acres include a beach, dunes and cross-country ski trails.
Reviewed April 17, 2013

I'm sure this is probably a great place to visit if you are there in summer. Many of the other reviews bear that out. But do not bother to go out of your way to visit in April. We had anticipated some great dunes but we did not get to them if they were there. The park looked very dreary and it just is not worth the effort at this time of year. That is probably there was no one else at all there!

1  Thank Traveller060651
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 11, 2013

Short hikes, long hikes, lots of trails and choices. My kids love the Dunes. Hike to the beach is short on the beach trail and well worth the trip. Don't miss a few hours here on your next trip to Saugatuck!

Thank ClickontheGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We live close to Saugatuck and I have enjoyed hiking here for many years. If you want an off the beaten track hike and a beach that is remote and fairly unspoiled, this is the place! But beware - you will have at least a 20 minute hike from the parking lot to the beach if thats what you're going for. For me that's the charm, as the hike isn't that difficult and its a beautiful area. But if you're not prepared, its not a good thing. Plus there are only pit toilets and no other facilities, no food, dressing room, etc.

It is a state park, so you will need a sticker or pay the entrance fee. During the busiest times in the summer it is manned, but my experience has been there's usually not an attendant there. In that case they have an honor system box for you to place your money.

But there's one BIG WARNING: NO LIFEGUARDS! NO UNDERTOW FLAGS (although they might have added those due to many drownings along the shoreline in the last couple years). The undertow can be vicious, and you can't always know how bad it is. PLEASE parents, don't let your kids of any age swim without watching them constantly! And if its got really big waves and a red flag DON"T TAKE A CHANCE! Your kids are more precious than an excellent body surfing day.

Its primitive, which defines the place; either you like that or you don't. But there are several hiking trails if you're not swimming too. And they are so nice! A few hills, but not too bad. Its a rare site to see Lake Michigan shoreline in its natural state. I particularly like the north trails, but really you could wander in and around the park, as well as along the beach, for hours. Its never real crowded, especially off season. And by the way, wintertime can be the best time to go! Hiking there is a four season activity.

One last note; the area in and around there has been sold to development, so I am not sure what that will do to this park. I believe it only affects the shoreline farther north by Oval Beach (another nationally recognized, more developed beach that is spectacular!) I understand the need for development, but I do hope they leave a good portion here alone in its natural state. Its one of the last untouched areas on Lake Michigan, and its truly worth a trip to the area to see and experience it!

6  Thank Horntraveler56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013

Don't get me wrong. I love the sea for any vacation, but Lake Michigan is so much less worrying! My kids are great swimmers, so they can go out in the water without Mama freaking and watching like a hawk because of sharks or jellies. I can actually look at a magazine! There's also the added benefit that Michigan is (not usually) boiling hot in summer like many tropical locales, and the sand is gorgeous and perfect for sand castles and giant holes. One more thing... You don't feel like you've been swimming in salty soup.

Thank bweis13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013 via mobile

We live about 30 mins away but try to visit at least once a week in the summer. Great place for a picnic, quick hick and beautiful Lake Michigan.

Thank Carajvt11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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