One of my favorite things about Northern Michigan this time of year are the long days. The sun shines till 9 or 9:30 every night, which means you can work all day then cut out around 4 or 5 to head out for an adventure. Taylor is currently in town with us for the next week and a half and so we felt that during our first full day together we needed to get her to the dunes. So, after work we headed out for a run, hike, and swim along the lakeshore.
One of our favorite hikes through the dunes is in Glen Haven. This small canning town, which was once a ghost town about 7 years ago, has now become a fairly popular tourist destination. The great thing is that the dunes span for miles, so don’t worry, you can get away from the mini vans and hoards if you know the right places. For now I will leave those up to you to find on your own because we need to keep some places quiet enough so we can still enjoy it even in these busy months.
The dunes in Glen Haven are part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; therefore, they are perfectly preserved and one of the most special landscapes you will ever see. The dune grasses and the old weather worn trees are my favorite. The rippling sand that is untouched is something to see if you ever get to the dunes. It is so special to see how the Earth moves the sand and how different the landscape is simply because of the dunes. Just feet away you have lush forests full of ferns and moss. It is pretty amazing.
From this hike you can see the North and South Manitou islands on the horizon, and sometimes when the wind blows in a certain way you can even hear the beeping of the lighthouses out on the islands.
When we made our way down to the water, we convinced Taylor that there was nothing better than a cooling swim in Lake Michigan. Thankfully the water has warmed up in the last few weeks to a point where you can wander around in the shallow areas, and if you can will yourself, you can dive under in the deeper parts of this majestic body of water. In the bays it is far warmer, but last month when I jumped in to the open lake I had never been colder in my life. Thankfully we were sweating and hot enough from hiking on an 80 degree day in the beating sun that the cold water sounded like the best thing in the world.
Once our bodies adjusted, we spent a good 30 minutes swimming around in the 4 foot water till we decided to make the last leg back to the car through the dunes. It was a perfect evening and truly why I love being up here this time of year. Every day I am reminded by how numbered our days are up here, so I am trying hard to enjoy it for all that it is worth. Soon enough we will be knee deep in renovating a house and life will look very different I think. Live in the moment my friends. Soak it up.
Happy Weekend! I hope you enjoy every minute of it!!!