Warren Dunes State Park in Winter

The weather in the upper Midwest was so mild this December, we frequented the beautiful Lake Michigan beaches while we were staying in Harbert, Michigan for Christmas! Warren Dunes State Park was right down the road, and we checked it out during our week-long stay. Within the state park there are many hiking and walking trails, but we spent most of our time along the beach with our three-year-old who was happy to dig in the sand the entire time. It was windy and cold while we were there, but with the sun shining and the waves, it almost seemed like the beaches we typically go to when visiting family along the California coast.

Sun, waves, and sand… looks like a beach to me!


Some of our group went running on the trails on the interior of the park. They said it was beautiful with woods and hills further away from the shore. In all there are six miles of trails. A giant sand dune looms over the shore in one area- we wished we had brought sleds to slide down it! Entry into Warren Dunes is typically $8/car, but during the winter it was not clearly marked how to pay for it, and there was no state park attendant, so we just drove in. I can see this destination being super fun in the summer- it looked like there were seasonal kiosks and food places along the beach, and lots of empty parking lots. I’m sure it is very busy in the summer.


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