A day at the beach for fun in the sun may sound completely ridiculous this time of the year. But ice is a strange thing. It can be beautiful and create jaw-dropping formations. It can transform a place that you’ve visited a hundred times into an alien world. It’s certainly worth donning a jacket and driving an hour. So this Saturday, 17 people (and 1 husky) from the club got together for a day of ice-watching. We started out by driving to Tiscornia Park in St. Joseph, MI. Just across the river from Silver Beach, this park is usually less crowded and has access to the lighthouse pier. We walked out (careful not to slip) to the far lighthouse, which was completely covered in ice and looked like an monstrous creature rising from the frozen lake.
From there, we grabbed some sandwiches at Baguette de France, a cute little shop also in St. Joseph. The food was tasty, fast, and cheap.
Finally, we moved on to Grand Mere State Park. We hiked a 3.3-mile loop that took us out onto the beach and along a ridge line (part of a parabolic dune). The snow-covered trails were a challenge, but we plowed through.
It takes a bit more will power for most people to get outside these days, but its rewarding. And if all 17 of us did it, then so can you. There are sights to see that aren’t going to be there in the spring, so now is your chance. Take it.
Safety tip: It can be dangerous to walk out onto the frozen lake. It isn’t always as solid as you think and hills can have pockets of air that collapse from your weight. People die out there every single year. That isn’t a reason not to go, just stay safely on solid ground. Also bring hiking or skiing poles to avoid slipping.