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A great challenging loop with fantastic views of Lake Michigan and incredible sand dunes.


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Map Key

1.7

Miles

2.8

KM

Loop

790' 241 m

High

600' 183 m

Low

287' 88 m

Up

286' 87 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Views

Overview

This hike really highlights the sand dunes of Lake Michigan including climbing to the top of Mount Randall with sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding countryside. Dip your toes in the lake before finishing the hike though a half-mile long bowl of sand!

Need to Know

There is an entrance fee to the park. Every vehicle must purchase a Michigan DNR Recreation Passport in advance or at the fee booth. Please see the following website for details: michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-3…. The hours are 8:00 am to 8:30 pm Eastern Time. Be aware that the park can be extremely crowded in the summer with long waits to enter the park.

Description

Park at the trailhead parking lot located on the road to the campground. Shortly after leaving the parking lot, you'll come to trail intersection #2. Take a right towards intersection #3. The trail is flat and fairly straight through the woods. At intersection #3, do not climb up the steep sand climb. Instead, continue for another 50 feet to the actual trail intersection (look for the sign). Take a left at the intersection towards intersection #1.

The trail will now climb up the side of Mount Randall through the woods. Parts of the trail are quite steep. Near the top of the climb, there is a trail junction. This steep climb leads towards the top of Mount Randall with dramatic views of Lake Michigan, the undulating sand dunes, and the surrounding area. After enjoying the views, double back to the trail junction and continue towards trail intersection #1. The trail is generally downhill and will remain in the woods all the way to the lake.

At the lake, the trail will end at the parking lot. Don't miss the chance to hike to the lake and take in the awesome views down the shoreline. In the summer, take off your shoes and get your feet wet in the lake. Continue the hike by heading away from the lake across the parking lot. Look for a trail sign with directions towards intersection #2. The next half mile of trail takes you though a massive blowout, which is a huge bowl of open sand. The footing is loose sand. There is no defined trail; generally hike away from the lake. The scene is otherworldly with the amount of sand here. Near the back of the blowout look for a trail sign. Do not be tempted to veer left up the sand dune.

Finish the hike by entering the woods and hiking back to the parking lot.

History & Background

Warren Dunes State Park is 1,952 acres in size and has 3 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The park owes its existence to E.K. Warren, the inventor of the Featherbone Corset. He purchased the land in the 1870's.

Contacts

Shared By:

Rafi Wilkinson

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#2050

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#20

in Michigan

#2,050

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4 Views Last Month
105 Since Oct 24, 2021
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Photos

Walking through the dune blowout. Amazing views.
Oct 24, 2021 near Shorewo…, MI
Incredible views from the top of Mount Randall.
Oct 24, 2021 near Shorewo…, MI
Dune blowout. So much sand!
Oct 24, 2021 near Shorewo…, MI

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