Rosy Mound Natural Area
This is a great place to see a more natural view of Lake Michigan. Sure, Grand Haven State Park is the place to go for people watching, but Rosy Mound is a nice quiet retreat. It's got over a mile of trails and is only a few miles south of G.H. on Lakeshore Drive.
Get off U.S. 31, There's more to town.
"Come for the Lake, Stay for the rest"
Grand Haven is one of several lakefront communities along Lake Michigan's eastern shore. Sometimes called the Sunset Coast. Grand Haven is like many of the other communities, but has several features/attractions that make it stand out.
Grand Haven is at the mouth of the Grand River. This is one of the largest and it may be the largest river on this coast. It's wide valley reaches nearly to Detroit on the other side of the State. There are acres of forest just miles inland for hiking, driving, hunting, and camping.
Grand Haven State Park is located on the beachfront and offers easy access to several miles of wide sandy beaches. It's also a fine view of the lighthouses. It's within walking of much of the town.
U.S. 31 provides easy access from north to south and to other attractions nearby. To the south there are antique shops and farm markets. To the north is P.J. Hoffmaster State Park. This is probably the premier dune park along this coast. There is an excellent visitor center and a trail to the top of several high dunes (boardwalk with steps).
Early 20th Century Rail power
"Pere Marquette Steam Locomotive No. 1223"
%S$Class N-1,2-8-4 Berkshire type
The numbers 2-8-4 are a reference to the wheel pattern:
2 - leaders wheels (2 on each side) These help guide the engine down the tracks.
4 - drivers. These power the train and a linked to the driving piston(s)
4 - trailers. These support the weight of the engine to distribute the over a larger area.
Built by the Lima Locomotive Works, Lima, Ohio in November 1941. The boiler number is 7837. This is one of two surviving steam engines of its type that were used in fast freight service between Chicago, Saginaw, Detroit and Toledo. Engine 1223 was retired from service on December 31, 1951, and was donated to the State of Michigan where it was placed on display aat the Michigan State Fairgrounds.
In 1981 after falling in disrepair, the State of Michigan accepted competitive bids witht eh intent of saving the engine from the scrap heap. The City of Grand Haven was successful and transportation from the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit to the City of Grand Haven was provided by the Grand Trunk Railroad and the Chessie System. Sincere thanks from the City of Grand HAven and the volunteer crew members of the Pere Marquette #1223 Preservation Committe, to The Hofma Trust, the Grand HAven Area Community Foundation, and the local companies and the many private individuals who have financially contributed to this historic restoration project. Specifications: Combined weight of engine and tender - 400 tons; Overall length - 101 feet; Heifht of engine - 16 feet; Driving wheels, diameter - 69 inches; Tender capacity, water - 22,000 gallons; tender capacity, coal - 22 tons; Cylinder horse - power - 2,979 hp.
"Grand Truck Western, Wood Caboose No. 77915"
This caboose of the Grand Trunk of Canada was of the 1894 designa nd was transferred to the Grand Trunk Western. Early car department records indicate that it was rebuilt in 1925. This all-wood caboose was used by the conductor as a rolling office, complete with desk and chair to prepare his paperwork. The reaf brakeman sat in the seat in the cupola to watch over the train while it was in motion. Typically, the caboose was outfitted with a coal ro wood stove, ice box, drinking water tank, sleeping bunks and kerosene lamps. It was donated anonymously to the City of Grand Haven in 1980. Specification: Construction - all wood with steel underframe; length 24 feet; width 10 feet; height 15 feet; Weight 43,000 pounds.
"Pere Marquette Caboose No. A-986"
Built in November, 1941 by the St. Louis Car Company of St. Louis, Missouri. The caboose was truly a rolling office, complete with a coal stove, ice box, drinking water tank, sink and sleeping bunks. The conductor used desk space provided to do his paper work and the rear brakeman sat in the cupola to watch over the train while it was in motion. This car was equipped witht he uniquie "Duryea Cushioned Underframe". This caboose was at one time used on the nightly "Cannonball" freight train that ran from Muskegon, thorugh Grand Haven to Grand Rapids. It was retired from service in 1981 and donated to the City of Grand Haven by the Chessie System in 1983. Specification: Construction - All steel; Length - 32 feet; Width - 10 feet; Height - 14 feet; Weight - 45, 000 lbs.
"Pere Marquette Auto Box Car No 72222"
Built in December, 1946 by the Ralston Steel Car Co. in Columbus, Ohio. It was used for transportation of automobile parts, furniture, and general merchandise. Later it was retired from service and used as a storage car int he Chesapeake and Ohio freight yard in Saginaw, Michigan. It is presently used by the restoration crew members as a workshop, tool shed and equipment storage. Donated by the Chessie System and restored by the West Michigan Railroad Historical Society of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1984 and loaned to the City of Grand Haven. Specifications: Construction - all steel; Length - 51 ft.-8 in.; Width - 10 ft.-7 in.; Height - 15 ft.; Weight - 57,000 lbs.
"Grand Trunk Western Standard Coaling Tower"
Built in 1925 by Ogle Construction Co. of Chicago. Illinois. All ladders, stairways and other steel hardware were stripped from the tower when it was removed from operation in the early 1950's. In use, a hopper car of coal was spottedover the pit, under the arches, the bottom hopper doors were opened and the coal dropped by gravity from the car into the pit where a bucket hoisted the coal to the storage bin at the top of the tower. The attached concrete shed contained the power source and mechanical equipmetn to activate the hoist bucket which was controlled by an operator in the hoist tower. The locomotive tender was spotted under the coal discharge chute and a lever activated by the fireman opened a door in the chute to allows the coal to pour into the tender by gravity. Specifications: Construction - Concrete and steel; Type of Loading- Bucket and hoist; Height - 79 feet Width - 28 feet Length - 30 feet Capacity - 200 tones of coal
"Nearby Center Pivot Span over the Grand River"
Rosy Mound Walk (Gateway & forest)
"Guide to Map Symbols"
Welcome to Rosy Mound Natural Area. Growing up in Indiana Mound country, I though this might be a cultural site. It was a surprise to see that 'Rosy Mound' is a wooded sand dune. Enjoying natural settings, we set off to enjoy the hike.
"Trails at the Gateway/parking area"
The wheelchair accessible Acorn trail is a loop from the parking area around through the forest and back to the parking lot. You get an introduction to the plants and animals of the dune coast of Michigan. The remainder of the trail to Lake Michigan is accessible, except for wheel-chairs. As with any trail, you need to know your limits as there are numerous stair steps along the trail. (See Below) Persons with limited sight, canes and maybe some walkers can travel the entire trail. You'll need to be in reasonable condition to make the climbs, but boardwalks, stairs and benches make this available to many visitors, who would otherwise not be able to see the park.
The parking area is in a meadow area, that quickly changes to the wooded slopes of the mound.
"Up and over the Dunes"
"The First of Many steps"
To reach the lake, it's necessary to cross over the dunes. This is made easier by the boardwalk and stairs that have been built.