Winter at Warren Dunes

One of the best things about the South Bend Adventure Club is something you won’t find with many other adventure clubs: fire-breathing dragons! Oops, I meant to say “choices,” but dragons are more exciting so I think I’ll leave it like that for now. Anyway, this weekend we had a variety of hiking and caving trips already on the schedule, but I was still able to find seven people who wanted to spend a day at the beach with me!

On Saturday morning, we set off on an hour-long journey to Warren Dunes in Southwest Michigan. The dunes are pretty popular in the summer, for good reason, but I think they’re even better on a nice winter day like this one. We started our adventure by slowly making our way out onto frozen Lake Michigan. The ice mounds were very slippery, and behind them was a sudden drop-off into the frigid waters, so no one dared venture all the way to the edge. However, it still made for a good photo op and a fun way to start the hike! Next, we walked north along the deserted beach until we came to a trailhead. We took the trail up through a wooded section of the “mountain,” pausing to admire a buffalo tree and some panoramic views, and then headed back downhill through a more Tatooine-like climate. After the nearly three-hour hike, we stopped at Elm Street Bistro in Three Oaks for lunch.

Special thanks to Eric, our de facto tour guide, for leading us on the trails and teaching us all about dune ecology, and to newcomer Jenn, who chose this as her first (official) SBAC trip! And high-fives to our youngest adventurers, who made it up and down the dunes even when they didn’t think they could! You guys rock!

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