Chances are, the bitter cold winter months have prevented you from spending quality time in nature. Your body is probably feeling that deprivation—time spent in natural surroundings has a direct connection to your overall health. In Japan, it’s common to prescribe “forest bathing”—or taking in the forest atmosphere—as preventive health care. That’s not a bad idea. This spring in Saugatuck, devote some time to getting back into nature.
Come to Saugatuck to take in the smells of earth taking its first breaths after months of snow cover, the birdsong, the bluer skies, and the warmer temperatures. Take a forest bath and leave those dreary winter doldrums far behind you.
Here’s where you should go:
Top 4 natural places to experience spring in Saugatuck
With miles and miles of winding trails, you can spend hours taking in the natural beauty of Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Witness the diversity of forest and dune ecosystems that make up the park. See the beautiful wildflowers that pop up before the canopy of trees above them fills. Make your way to the beach and be invigorated by the crisp breeze off of the still-way-too-cold-to-swim-in Lake Michigan. Time spent in this park will leave you feeling refreshed.
For a challenging hike that ends in a rewarding dune-top view of Lake Michigan, try ascending the 302 steps at Mount Baldhead. This park is a Saugatuck favorite, and it offers a 1-mile trail loop for walking, hiking, and running. Cooler spring temperatures mean you won’t overheat as you hike to the top and then descend through the grassy dunes to the lakeshore.
This natural area is located near Oval Beach and features 2.5 miles of trails winding through precious interdunal wetland, forest, and dune ecosystems. Discover the ways water marries land as you meander along the shores of Lake Michigan, the Kalamazoo River, and the Oxbow Lagoon. This hike can be hot in the summer, so spring is a perfect time to enjoy it.
For a lighter hike, try River Bluff Park. Take in spring in Saugatuck as you wander through its 27 acres toward the Kalamazoo River. Rest at benches along the trail, and bring your fishing gear to try your luck on the river!