Norton Shores, Michigan

Climb Mt. Baldy Dune

1.5 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Travis Smith

One of the best views in West Michigan, Mt. Baldy is a massive 240 foot blown out dune that features breathtaking 360 degree views at its peak.

The trailhead begins at the Gilette Visitor Center inside PJ Hoffmaster Park.

Behind the visitor center, you will see the gigantic sand dune which you will be climbing. Unfortunately, the park rangers do not want you climbing this dune's backside from the parking lot. Instead, get on the forested boardwalk and take it down to the beach (the more daring can find a wooded path up the dune from the boardwalk). Once at the beach, walk just a few feet north until you can see the top of the dune. Next, start climbing! This is a strenuous, steep climb up sand and dune grass. For the most scenic path, hug the ridge line along the right side of the dune.

Those that climb their way all the way up to the top will be rewarded with some of the best views in West Michigan. If you look out east, you are high above the tree tops and you can see for miles - especially scenic in the fall. If you look west, you will be rewarded with a jaw-dropping view of Lake Michigan from 240 feet above. A perfect sunset spot.

To get back to your car, the approved way is to go back the way you came. There is a path down the backside of the dune, but most park rangers would prefer you stay off for dune preservation.  

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Tags

Photography
Swimming
Hiking
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Romantic
Scenic

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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