Saugatuck Dunes State Park

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A day-use park along a secluded strip of Lake Michigan shoreline, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers 2.5 miles of shore line. The park has fresh water coastal dunes that are over 200 feet tall. The park’s terrain varies from steep slopes to rolling hills.

A day-use park along a secluded strip of Lake Michigan shoreline, Saugatuck Dunes State Park offers over 1,000 acres of land with 2.5 miles of shore line. The Lake Michigan beach is a 0.6 mile hike from the picnic parking area. In addition, the park has fresh water coastal dunes that are over 200 feet tall. The park’s terrain varies from steep slopes to rolling hills. The park, located in Allegan County, is relatively undeveloped. The land for Saugatuck Dunes was acquired in 1971 from the Augustinian Order, who used the buildings as a seminary. When the state took ownership, the structures were used as a prison and state police offices.

The park’s major attractions are the long sandy beaches and the 300-acre natural area, which contains a coastal dune system, as well as three endangered plant species. Nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers and hikers are the predominant day users.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park is a 1,120 acre (4.5 km²) Michigan state park. It is located on Lake Michigan between Saugatuck and Holland in Allegan County, Michigan.

This day-use park features 14 mi (23 km) of hiking trails (some considered difficult) through scenic, stabilized and wooded sand dunes. It also has two miles (3 km) of Lake Michigan beachfront, located a mile (1.6 km) from the parking lot and requiring a semi-strenuous walk to get there. A picnic area is present, but no camping is allowed. A state park permit is required for entry.

Near this park is the state-owned Felt Mansion, which was built by inventor of the comptometer, Dorr E. Felt, in 1928. This was the Felt family’s summer home until 1949, when it was sold to the St. Augustine Seminary and used as housing for young students, and later on, for cloistered nuns. In the 1970s, this building was purchased by the state of Michigan and was used as a state police post, with nearby buildings serving as a prison. The whole mansion is undergoing a restoration project.

 

 

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