Grand Haven is a paradise for the men in tights.There are miles and miles of bike paths stretching from Grand Haven to Holland and Spring Lake.Most of the paths are pretty scenic on Lake shore drive and around the beach.Stop by Harbor island if you want to see some birds or deer.
It's pretty hard to beat Grand Haven for boating in the summer time.For fishing,Grand Haven is one of the best in Michigan,trolling salmon,catching perch.fishing walleye in the river,bass and bluegill in the bayous.If you just like pleasure boating,head upriver to Spring Lake and kick back in the sun.If you like tying up to other boats there are plenty of spots in Spring Lake with different areas more family oriented and areas for the party animals.When youre done head back towards Lake Michigan and tie up along the seawall or the municipal marina and head downtown for some great food and drinks.The beauty is the downtown and beach are all in walking distance If you park it at the seawall or the marina youre tied up to the board walk that ends up at the pier heads.If you like to water ski the bayous off the grand river or Spring Lake are good spots to go.
- Skiing and Boarding
- Water Sports
Grand Haven was an active port along Lake Michigan. Industry built here and the river acted as a passageway inland. Later the railroads arrived. Grand Haven has kept the memory of their railroads alive down at the local park.
Pere Marquette Steam Locomotive #1223 [Class N-1, 2-8-4] Berkshire Type. Built in 1941, it weights 400 tons and holds 22 tons of coal and 22,000 gallons of water.
Pere Marquette Auto Box Car #72222 Built in 1946. It weights 57,000 lbs
Pere Marquette Caboose No. A-986 Built in 1941, all steel construction, weights 45,000 lbs.
Great Trunk Western Caboose No. 77915 Built in 1897 of wood. Weights 43,000 lbs.
Grand Trunk Western Standard Coaling Tower Built in 1925 of concrete and steel. It stands 79' tall and holds 300 tons of coal.
For more details, see my Early 20th Century Rail Power travelogue.
Address: North Harbor Dr
Directions: River front on N. Harbor Dr, east, between 1st and 2nd streets.
- Historical Travel
Rosy Mound Natural Area is a hidden jewel along Michigan's Shoreline. Rosy Mound is a tree covered dune that is just off the parking lot. It is easily reached by a hardened trail. While there are no steps to the bottom of the Mound , the trail is at the upper end of wheel chair accessiblility. [20% slope] The Acorn Trail is a 1/2 mile fully accessible loop through the forest and the back dunes.
Once you reach Rosy Mound itself, the work begins. You're at the first of 6 staircases of 4 to 47 steps each. Once you reach the top, there is a vista across a huge blow-out. A blow-out is where the winds broke the surface of a dune and undercut the vegetation to build a trench through all the dunes down wind. This blow-out is a 1/4 mile deep and nearly 1/2 a mile at it's widest. From the overlook, it is over 200 steps down. The last 97 steps traverse the side of the blowout.
Once you reach the bottom, there are boardwalks through the open sands and out to the shoreline. Looking up from the bottom is a unique experience. There are benches along the trail and a sun shelter at the bottom of the long steps. If you have a day, spend it at the beach here and enjoy the dunes. If you have an hour, take the walk to the overlook. We met many locals on their lunch hour while we were there. On lady comes out every day, all year round on lunch to walk the trail.
See my Travelogues for more details.
Rosy Mound Walk - Gateway forest
Rosy Mound Walk - The Blowout
Rosy Mound Walk - Lake Michigan and Return
Directions: South of Grand Haven on the Lakeshore road. Just past Rosy Mound School
- Hiking and Walking
Grand Haven in located on the Grand River, where it splits into a variety of islands. To get about, there are a number of bridges, which I find interesting. The best way to see both bridges is to get on to Harbor Island Drive. It is accessible from US 31 from either direction.
US 31 or North Beacon Blvd is the main road north and south. It leaps over the Grand River on a series of viaducts and bridges. The most interesting is the twin bascual lift bridge over the main channel. Unless you're then when a boat is going through, you'll probably not notice it. The only clue is the bridge tenders tower.
Railroad Swing Bridge over the main channel. This is just west of US 31. This massive steel structure pivots on a center pylon to open two channels for boat traffic. It is left in the open position most of the time as river traffic is more substantial than rail traffic.
Address: Grand River
Directions: Harbor Island
- Road Trip
The Festival's mission is to honor the men and women of the Unites States Coast Guard.
The Festival Week is filled with entertainment for the whole family. Starting with the Family Parade held on the first Saturday, Festival Week activities conclude with a final Saturday filled with the biggest and best that the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival has to offer.
Take a tour of a Coast Guard cutter, be entertained by the performers at the Chronicle Waterfront Stage, or attend the special community picnic or the huge Arts & Crafts Show in Central Park... all leading up to the fireworks.
Come to Grand Haven for the thrills of an exciting midway, a water ski show, sporting events, the Miss Coast Guard City Scholarship Pageant.
Grand Haven, Michigan was designated as Coast Guard City USA by Act of Congress, and signed signed into law by the President of the United States on November 13, 1998.
Every port town has it's own unique lighthouse. Each may share features from other areas, but each is unique in it's use of features. Grand Haven's light is a dual light.
Address: River mouth on the lake
Directions: Grand Haven State Park.
- Hiking and Walking
- Historical Travel