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Beach Trails for a Brutally Hot Summer

If it's hot out there, then it's time for a beach hike

It’s been our experience that after most mild winters in Michigan, and last winter was as mild as they come, a brutally hot summer follows. If that’s the case, we’ve put together a list of our favorite beach trails. These are great hikes that either include a segment of beach or quick access to one. Either way in the middle of your outing you can take a break and cool off with a swim. Just make sure your pack a swim suit or are wearing quick-drying hiking shorts.

Most of the great beach trails are on the west side of the state along Lake Michigan and in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula include Warren Dunes State Park, Livingston Trail Loop in Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Homestead Trail in Hoffmaster State Park and, one of our favorites, Silver Lake State Park.

In the northern half of the Lower Peninsula there’s Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness/Ludington State Park, Platte Plains Trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Point Trail also in the national lakeshore, and a beach walk along remote Sturgeon Bay in Wilderness State Park.

There are some beach trails on the east side of the Lower Peninsula, just not as much sand. But our favorites are Port Crescent State Park at the tip of the Thumb and tally Hot Summer just east of Mackinac Bridge.

In the Upper Peninsula … well that’s an awfully long drive for a swim isn’t it?


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