I don’t get a whole lot of weekends that include both Saturday and Sunday in the months from August through May, so this past weekend was a rare treat with the school year winding down. With Kyle home, I wanted to take full advantage — especially because I will be out of town this upcoming weekend — so I suggested a hiking trip at Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan.
This was a new experience for us together. We’re definitely homebodies and do a lot of hanging out in our living room, but I, especially, like to get out of town every once in a while and do something different. I knew Kyle liked hiking, and I liked the idea of hiking (I hadn’t been since I was 15 on a camping trip to the Smokies), so I was eager to do something new together that we would both enjoy.
We got a late start on Sunday because Kyle wasn’t feeling well in the morning, so we hit the road around 1:30 p.m. and got to the park around 2:45. The Warren Dunes is just along Lake Michigan in Sawyer, Michigan, and there is a ton to do there — with three miles of beaches, six miles of hiking trails, a campground and opportunities for hunting (not my thing), cross-country skiing, picnicking and dune-climbing.
I was worried about the weather on Sunday because it looked like it would be cold, but there was so much sunshine that the 50-degree weather didn’t matter. It was absolutely gorgeous.
Once we hit the trail, we decided to head toward the lake, so we immediately hit sand, which turned out to be a good little leg workout. Then we hit our first dune climb, which was probably about a 100-foot climb. Not too bad.
We got a pretty great view of the lake at the top, but the wind was killer, dropping the temperature about 15 degrees. The trail took us closer to the lake and even more into the wind, so I was more than happy to find our way back into the woods. At the next fork, we had the option of winding along the shoreline or heading into the trees and back toward the start, so we took the latter option and warmed right back up.
Now the trail was much more of a traditional dirt hiking trail, enclosed by trees and humming with birds. The spring growth was everywhere, and with the sunshine peaking through the treetops, it was stunning.
At the next fork, we veered left, away from the start and ambled along a little creek. This trail went on for quite a while and was relatively flat, so we slowed down a bit and enjoyed the view. I also found the opportunity to introduce Kyle to the concept of being an “Instagram boyfriend,” which I’m sure he was incredibly amused by.
At the end of this stretch of trail, we did a smaller loop trail, then decided to head back to the car. Kyle’s feet were killing him, so we got back not a moment too soon. He was wearing his work boots, which are on the older side, so we’re thinking he’ll need a proper pair of hiking boots in the future.
All-in-all, we ended up hiking close to five miles (according to my phone). My legs were definitely feeling it on Monday, but in a good way, and I was happy with the active weekend we had. It’s definitely an activity we’ll be going back to in warmer weather.
After our hike, we headed down to New Buffalo for dinner at the Stray Dog. I was really hoping for warm weather Sunday because I wanted to sit on the roof, but unfortunately we had to settle for inside. There was about a 30-minute wait, so we ended up reversing dinner and dessert and snagged some ice cream at the cone shop next door.
For dinner, Kyle got steak tacos and I got a chicken sandwich, neither of which I took pictures of 😉 They were just damn good.
It was definitely a highlight weekend. We had such a good time that I was exhausted by 9:30 on Sunday and went straight to sleep. I can’t wait for another one like it!
What did you do this weekend?
Have you ever been hiking? Camping?
What’s your favorite activity to do with your significant other or family