Rosy Mound Natural Area

Rosy Mound is located in Grand Haven, Michigan and is one of my preferred spots to frequent when I head out to Lake Michigan. It is a great place to engage in some of my favorite things including: visiting Grand Haven, hiking, biking, and hitting the beach. This area is part of the traditional Great Lakes dune system with beautiful wooded canopies that become an open dune system as you arrive to a sandy beach.


The parking lot is not very big so it’s best to get there early. The day rate for parking is $8.00. If you find yourself arriving a little later and the lot is full, there is an elementary school about a block north on Lakeshore Drive that I have used many times.  There are fully functioning bathrooms at the parking lot that are always very clean. We have also used bike racks there to lock up our bikes.  Unfortunately, a Michigan “Recreation Passport” is not valid because Rosy Mound is a county park. A note to dog lovers: dogs are not allowed at Rosy Mound any time of year, however, they are allowed at another great park nearby: Kirk Park.


The trail is only .7 miles from the parking lot out to the beach, but there are some areas that would be considered somewhat strenuous. The great thing about a hike at Rosy Mound is that there are plenty of places along the way to stop and sit on a bench or take in the surroundings and snap some pictures of the beautiful view of Lake Michigan.  In total, there are about 1,000 feet of stairs carved or built into the trail wherever there is an incline.

The canopy portion is beautiful and has flat portions.
Most areas that include a climb are fairly moderate with stairs carved out.
A beautiful view of Lake Michigan overlooking the open dune system. Benches to sit and a great photo opportunity.

Once you get out of the canopy portion of the hike, you will descend down stairs to the open dune system.  (This steep area of stairs is the most strenuous part of the climb as you return).  The open dune system has a nice, flat boardwalk which takes you around the open area of Rosy Mound.  It adds a little more distance to your walk and has benches along the way as well.  There are pit bathrooms available if needed.

The steep descent out of the canopy to the open dune system that is the most strenuous area of the trail on your return to the parking lot.
The flat boardwalk out in the open dune system.

The Beach

At the edge of the open dune system, there are nice viewing decks out over the beach, however, they were washed away this summer. If you actually want to sit at the water’s edge or swim, there is a sharp drop off that would require a very short – but strenuous climb back up.  There are no lifeguards on duty.

All told, the hike from the parking lot to the beach, around the boardwalk, and back is 2.25 miles.


Another nice thing about Rosy Mound is its location. It is nestled between the popular lakeshore communities of Grand Haven and Holland, which are two great spots to explore.  The entrance to Rosy Mound is situated right on the Lakeshore Trail (map). If you decide to access this bike trail, be careful as you are leaving Rosy Mound. The cross walk at the entrance has low visibility to people on Lakeshore Drive who go 55+ miles per hour and don’t tend to stop when people are in the crosswalk – even though it is state law!

If you have any questions about Rosy Mound, or others along the lakeshore, feel free to contact me.

Location: 13925 Lakeshore Ave, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Rosy Mound Map

Rosy Mound Hours
Open year-round with fees enforced Memorial Day to Labor Day
March 1 through October 15:  7am to 10pm
October 16 through February 28:  7am to 8pm

Views along the Lakeshore Trail between Rosy Mound and Holland.

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