The Dune Trail runs from the Dune Climb to the lakeshore. It is rated as strenuous and certainly lived up to its billing. It is 1.8 miles or 3 km, one way, of soft sand, climbing up and over a series of steep dunes.
Today’s temperature was in the low 20s C but with a clear blue sky and the reflection from the sand it felt a lot warmer.
When we finally did get to the lakeshore I thought “That wasn’t as bad as I thought” but going back was a killer. Later looking at the Google maps elevation profile I could see why.
You gain most of the elevation right at the beginning and then it is a long slow drop to the lakeshore, with some still significant climbs on the way.
This is the hill called the Dune Climb.
It doesn’t look like much from a distance but it was the steepest part of the hike and it is very churned up from all the people so the sand is very soft.
Up we go.
Over the crest you have to cross a wide open area.
People get small pretty fast.
And up through this notch.
I think a lot of people who don’t want to do the whole hike were hoping that you could see Lake Michigan from there. We got asked several times on the way back. You cannot. There is a higher dune behind it.
Looking back from the notch.
This is the view looking back at the notch on the way to the higher dune.
From there you could just barely see the lake.
Down we go.
And back up. This was a really steep one.
And down and back up again.
From that top it looked like it was mostly downhill from there.
After that climb it really was downhill.
You can see the path wiggling its way to the shore.
I had read a blog about the hike, describing how there were 27 guide posts along the way. Early on, when you are post 8, it was a kind of depressing bit of knowledge. Getting close now. The last bit was fairly flat.
When I took this next picture I didn’t notice all the bugs. They weren’t a problem on the beach. There were never a lot of people here. For most of our stay we were alone.
There was a pile of rocks where people had left their names. Unfortunately we didn’t have anything to write with.
We just love the blue green colour of the water.
A photosphere. I think the horizon is so disjointed because the program tried to match the moving waves from the the different photos making up the image.
We arrived right around lunch time so we found a bit of shade to relax for a while.
What a view! The water off to infinity, the deep blue sky and a daytime quarter moon.
We could barely see a few yachts go by far off on the horizon.
These two couples hadn’t known about the dune trail and had walked here along the beach from around the point. They probably had a longer hike but it would certainly have been a flatter and cooler one.
Since we were in no rush to leave, Jennie decided to build some beach art.
After about an hour and a half at the beach we dragged ourselves away and started the long trek back.
As I said the hike back seemed much harder. The long constant climb really got to us.
Are we having fun yet?
The end is in sight.
I should have brought more water. I probably only had about a liter and a half. By being careful we only ran out right at the last peak but we should have been drinking more.
We had just enough energy for an almost run down the Dune Climb.
Time for a portrait. Still smiling but very tired.
This was definitely the toughest hike of this summer but I am glad we did it.