Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

2013 January 11  
Our destination for this rainy day was Saugatuck Dunes State Park, a Michigan State Park.  Located on Lake Michigan in Allegan County.  This is a day use park with 1,120 acres, 14 miles of hiking trails through woods and sand dunes.  It has two miles of Lake Michigan beachfront.

We have visited this park several times before. This visit we struck off in a different direction, mostly following a waterway which looked like it had been dug long ago.  We are always attracted to water-  creeks, streams, swamps, ponds, rivers - we note the direction of flow, and research where the water flows to and where it came from.

So we started at the parking area and went north along the trail until the trail veered left, we headed right to be near the swampy area.  Soon we were on the back side of the dunes following this ditch.  Just in case you want to know, the water was flowing northwest.  After turning a 90 degree corner along this ditch the water was suddenly flowing west.  So the water was flowing in two directions, it met at the corner and disappeared under the ground!

We decided to continue north to see what was over the next rise.  More woods and then, a ditch appeared with water flowing north!  

This ditch had deep sides and had been dug more recently.  Why, and who dug it?  We assumed we were still in the park since we hadn't seen any boundary signs.

Somewhere along here in the woods, and these were very wet woods, with standing water to walk through, we came across an old travel trailer painted in a camouflage pattern.  It was in rough shape, with windows broken.  We wondered how anyone got it back in here.

After a bit we could see the roof of a house so we turned back. We had been at the base of a sand dune for most of our walk.  We went through the woods, up the hill and found we were on the ridge of a big dune. 

We had been down there.

                                 Now we are up here.

We could not see Lake Michigan from here.  We were on a trail, and went south to the parking area.

On the way home I felt something crawling on my neck, it was a TICK!  Well, we were following deer trails but a tick in January.

So even though it was a dark, rainy day, we found a new-to-us place to explore.


Anonymous said...

One amazing trip after another. We're good. That was fun, all that exploring. Always something to see. Where do we go next? M :)

New Hampshire Gardener said...

You'd think you could have at least one tick free month per year. That's quite a sand dune!

Anonymous said...

I very much dislike ticks!!!! But living in the New York's Hudson Valley it is something we deal with all the time!! I have the best tick remover scoop ever, I bought it for our Brutus doggie but turns out it works just as good on humans:) Glad you and M had a good hike! How our crazy winter weather turns back into snow! We look forward to more pictures soon!!! NY niece:)

Plants Amaze Me said...

M:) We sure do have fun exploring and even on rainy days we find interesting things.
Remember the Beech Drops, Wintergreen, Partridgeberry, Pipsissewa, British Soldiers (lichen).
Also our visit to Halfway Creek that I didn't mention for reasons only you know.
And is that ditch named Carver? Where do we go next week?

Plants Amaze Me said...

One tick free month or two would be nice. I really don't like bugs, at least not on me.
We are pretty much several big sand dunes along Lake Michigan.
Thanks for stopping by.

Plants Amaze Me said...

NY niece:)
Hi niece, EW! Ticks.
Crazy weather here too. Your Mom and I walked in the fog and slush yesterday, but it was 58 degrees!
Take Care.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the "creek" is Carver Ditch, and it winds its way in and out of the park.

Saugatuck Dunes is one of my favorite places to spend a day. Other than the tick, it looks like you had a good time.

Plants Amaze Me said...

Thanks Jerry for the name of the ditch. My sister did come up with that name, but I wasn't so sure.
Do you know who or why it was dug?

Saugatuck Dunes is a big place. The south trail is almost like a second park. Pelican Peak is also in the southern part of the park.

My sister and I always do have fun. Not everyone would think what we do is fun, but we go were we want (except for trespassing). I'm not even sure why it is fun sometimes, it is hard to explain.

Thanks for the info.