we have one final stop on the itinerary. Mac Wood's Dune Ride.
This is a great way to see the dunes, Lake Michigan and Silver Lake, and to learn a little history about the formation of dunes.
The dunes got started by clear cutting the timber off the land bordering Lake Michigan in the 1800’s, the strong winds off of the lake quickly revealed the sand dunes. Eventually burying most of the tree stumps and light soils and underbrush that once covered them. Eventually the trees will take back the sand dunes which have also been stabilized by the planting of sea oats and grasses.
The ride is about 40 minutes and we follow a 7 mile trail on the sand dunes and a stop at Silver Lake and Lake Michigan for about 5 minutes. The ride is mild and not at all dangerous. In fact I kept hoping they would "kick it up a notch".
This is Silver Lake. The dunes are expanding further and further all the time and the lake is getting smaller and some houses have already been covered by sand. One guy has removed sand 3 or 4 times this year alone to keep his cottage from being buried.
The poplar trees are survivors though and can continue to grow higher and develop new root systems even as they get buried deeper each year by the dunes.
Here we are at Lake Michigan and stop to take some pictures.
Our drivers Chris and Weasie.
One of our guides mentioned a lighthouse located close by, so we thought we might as well see one more.
This lighthouse was built in 1873-1874 and stands 107 feet tall.
Originally named Petite Pointe Au Sable. The name was changed in 1910 to Little Sable Point Lighthouse, meaning "little point of sand," representing its location which juts into Lake Michigan.
|Little Sable Point Lighthouse|
We climbed 139 steps up to the cast iron walkway and...
checked out the views over Lake Michigan.
Well, the bus is waiting and unfortunately it's time to go home. We had such a great time and I am looking forward to next years trip when we head to West Virginia.