note: since so many have signed up for this event, please make sure to cancel if you won't be coming
note: Saugatuck is on Eastern Daylight Time, an hour later than Chicago and NWI. all times listed below are EDT.
dear hiking friends--
come join us for a hike on the trails and beaches of Saugatuck Dunes state park, dinner at Marro's Italian restaurant http://www.marrosrestaurant.com/, and a shopping stroll thru town in fabulous Saugatuck, Michigan.
My plan is just for our standard format of a Saturday hike and dinner. But the drive to Saugatuck is about an hour and a half from the Chesterton-Valpo area, and three hours from downtown Chicago, and there is lots to do in town, so I for one will stay overnight from Thursday to Saturday. We had some fun overnight trips to Saugatuck in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2013.
I will be staying at the place we have usually gone for weekend Saugatuck stays, the Timberline motel, http://www.timberlinemotel.com/ , [masked], on the outskirts of town with a nice pool and hot tub. If others are staying over, we could get together for dinner Friday and/or Saturday, and return after dinner, go in the hot tub, play some games, hang out together, etc. you can cancel reservations at the Timberline if you do it at least a week in advance.
i will pass a hat for a small donation to cover the costs of using meetup. there may be an entrance fee for the state park.
for the hike, make sure to check the weather beforehand http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/Saugatuck+MI+USMI0757:1:US , and have appropriate clothing and gear.
Be sure to bring something to eat along on the hike, plus enough water (one quart minimum, two is better). Also bring sunscreen and a hat with a brim. insects have not been bad so far this year, but use your judgement on insect repellant. i'm not sure whether Saugatuck Dunes is a dog-friendly park or not, so please do your own research on this matter, and remember you will need to make provision for your dog if you come to dinner also.
after the hike, we will dine at Marro's Italian restaurant http://marrosrestaurant.com/, if we really have 31 people at this event, or anything close to it, we will probably need to split up into smaller groups and go to more than one restaurant. let's plan to be flexible about that.
after dinner, we will take a stroll thru town to peruse the shops, galleries, and other sights ot this pleasant lakeside locale.
if you would like to retire to the Timberline afterwards, where i will be staying, we could go in the hot tub, play some games, or jut hang out.
if you'd prefer to stay and walk some more around town, go to Oval beach, or do more hiking, the sun doesn't set in Saugatuck on June 21, the longest day of the year, till 9:26, and civil twilight doesn't end till 10:01!
if you're still here Sunday morning, we could take a short walk into town and have breakfast together before going our merry ways.
anyone who wanted to go to town Friday evening or Saturday morning or evening, or Sunday as long as they wished, and check out the shops, galleries, the harbor, or do some more hiking or swimming would have those opportunities too.
because it may be hard to accommodate us at dinner, i want to start the hike more punctually than usual. following is the hike route. if you are running slightly late, follow our route, and you should be able to catch up with us for our lunch stop on the beach. if you are running way late, follow the route backwards, and you are sure to run into us somewhere on our route.
hike route: from the Saugatuck Dunes parking lot, take the North trail to the lakefront. we will have our lunch stop at that point. turn left (south), and continue along the lakefront about 2 miles to the Livingston trail (marked with a brown trail sign in the dune grass). take the Livingston trail inland. when you come to junctions with other trails, you will take 3 lefts, and then a right. this will lead you back to the parking lot. total trail length is about 5-6 miles.
You can come early Saturday, or even Friday evening to extend the weekend.
i will be at the Timberline from Friday morning, and will be having dinner in town Friday eve--if you would like to join me, contact me beforehand.
hope to see you there,
from SW Michigan, NW Indiana, Chicago, and points west: take I-94 across Indiana and into Michigan; around exit 34, exit onto I-196; take I-196 to exit 36; go in the direction of Saugatuck/Douglas on the Blue Star hwy, over the Kalamazoo river a few miles, and you will see the Timberline motel on the right, park in the lot, and come to my room, or to the pool; i will try to post my exact location on line--if you don't see it, check for "Rick Malkowski" at the desk, or call or text me at[masked], or tweet me at Rick Malkowski @trailman49; try to arrive by 12:00 EDT (11:00 CDT); we will wait till 12:30, then drive to Saugatuck Dunes state park to start the hike
directions to Saugatuck Dunes state park: you can follow me from the motel to the state park, but if we lose each other, or if you are coming late, here are the directions from the Blue Star hwy: take Blue Star hwy to 64 st (just before the interstate), turn left; continue to 138 ave, turn left, and continue into the Saugatuck Dunes state park lot. there may be a fee. look for a crowd in the lot, or call me at[masked]-0428.