Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lakeshore Conector

The Lakeshore Connector is a paved bike path that runs 20 miles along Lakeshore Drive from Holland, Michigan to Grand Haven. The trail itself is pleasant but not particularly scenic since Lake Michigan is hidden behind private homes on wooded dunes and the landscape is more suburban than rural. The trail, however, does connect some great beach parks: Holland State Park in the south, then Tunnel Beach, Kirk Park is near the trail's midpoint, followed by Rosy Mound Natural Area, and then Grand Haven State Park in the north. Any of these parks makes a nice destination.

Another natural area along the trail is the Palomita Reserve, a Great Lakes marsh preserved by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan. There's a marsh overlook on the trail and an option for a woodland walk through the reserve. It's a little north of Kirk Park.

On the north, the path ends at the city limits of Grand Haven but riders can continue on sidewalks or streets. Duncan Park, in Grand Haven, offers a scenic but hilly ride through a mature beech woods on the way to the downtown or waterfront. I never saw any signs to the Lakeshore Connector trail but we found our way easily enough.

Trail maps are available in Ottawa County's "Bike Grand Haven & Holland" brochure [pdf]

Approximate distances (one way)
Holland State Park to Tunnel Beach 2.7 miles
Tunnel Beach to Kirk Park 11 miles
Kirk Park to Grand Haven 9 miles

Parking fee at parks; no park fee for bikes.

No comments: