Grand Mere State Park
Grand Mere, United States
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Grand Mere State Park is a state park in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Michigan near Stevensville. It is located adjacent to Interstate 94. Protected from Lake Michigan by the dunes to the west, the park has many natural features not found throughout the rest of the state. In 1976 it was designated a National Natural Landmark.
The 985-acre (3.99 km2) park is mostly wooded and has three geologically ancient inland lakes, left behind as the glaciers receded during the last ice age. At one time there were five such lakes, but two of the lakes have disappeared as a result of aquatic succession, and the remaining three can be seen to be slowly disappearing today.
The dunes protecting the park also create a relatively cool environment that supports plants not normally seen in southern Michigan, some of which are classified as rare, threatened or endangered.
The park has almost two miles of sandy beach, which can be reached only on foot by climbing over steep sand dunes. There are many trails for hiking and cross-country skiing, but most are neither posted nor maintained. (Biking on the trails is prohibited.) The trail conditions vary from loose sand to hard packed dirt. There are lots of hills including a large sand dune that was once used for off-road vehicles many years ago. Access to the dune by large, four-wheeled vehicles has been blocked with guard rails.
The park has a wide variety of natural dangers, including Thorns, Ticks, Sand Flies, No-see-ums, Flies, Gnats, Snakes, Mosquitoes (This variety can spread West Nile Disease), and many more pests.
Many parts of the park are impassable, as most of the park is covered in thick vines and thorns. Visitors are advised not to underestimate the physical challenge when at the park, as it is quite difficult to climb the hot dunes or trek through the thick forests. Visitors are also advised to bring water, wear closed-toe shoes, wear bug repellent to prevent disease, and bring a compass.
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