For those looking for a great place to hike or camp that is close by, check out P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon. This state park is only about 20 minutes from Grand Haven and offers some great hiking trails and a wonderful campground.
P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is located on three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline so there is plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the beach. The 1,200-acre park offers 10 miles of hiking trails, the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center, and 297 campsites.
The Dune Overlook Trail
One of the most popular things to do at the park is climb the Dune Overlook trail. This trail is roughly 1/2 mile round trip and is includes 220 steps. This can make for a challenging climb, but there are benches along the way so hikers can stop for a break. When you reach the end of the trail, there are two observation platforms where you will enjoy a grand view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding sand dunes. I have personally hiked this trail on several occasions and never get tired of the view. Plus the 220 steps provide a great workout!
The Homestead Trail
Those looking for a longer hike should check out the Homestead Trail. This trail is approximately 2 miles long and forms a loop that is broken up into segments so you can hike the entire distance or enjoy a shorter hike. The trail is wooded but also includes dune views and stops along the shores of Lake Michigan to enjoy a swim. This trail is extremely popular with families with kids.
The Walk-A-Mile Trail
For those who enjoy a hike in the woods, there is the Walk-A-Mile Trail. This trail is 1.6 miles long and goes through forested woods where hikers will encounter a varied landscape with a wide variety of tree species. After climbing the dunes at the end of the trail, hikers can stop off at Lake Michigan.
Bring your dog along!
It is important to note that dogs are allowed on the shoreline as long as they are on a 6-foot leash. Dogs are not allowed in the swimming areas.
The Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center
People who want to learn a little more about sand dunes and the natural wonders of the park should plan to visit the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center. This center features a wide variety of exhibits that people of all ages will enjoy and learn from.
There are endless places in and around Grand Haven to hike and enjoy Lake Michigan but sometimes it is fun to explore new trails in a nearby town. Anyone wanting to hike and explore will be pleased with all P.J. Hoffmaster State Park has to offer.
If you are interested in camping at P.J. Hoffmaster, book a reservation months in advance. The campground is extremely popular so it can be difficult to land a reservation!
When things get busy in Grand Haven during the summer, you may want to escape to nearby Muskegon for a hike or bike ride along the lakeshore. One trail that hikers and bikers should explore is the Lakeshore Trail — it is 12 miles long and offers amazing views of Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan. Hikers and bikers will get to walk or bike through the middle of the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve. Best of all, the path is paved so it is great for hikers and bikers of all experience levels. The path has very few changes in elevation, so it is a perfect path for everyone.