Saturday, December 18, 2pm EST
Hiking Through History
Grand Mere State Park
Stevensville, Mich.

Have you ever wondered about the history of the properties you are hiking? The Harbor Country Hikers learn a little about each of the venues they explore in Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan. On our next hike, Hikers President and Hike Leader Pat Fisher will give a brief talk on the Post-Nipissing origin of the Grand Marais Embayment and its pre-settlement history. We’ll warm up by taking a hike through the dune-covered forests of Grand Mere State Park. If you haven’t been on one of our hikes, this will be a great place to start. Grand Mere is nearly 1,000 acres of beautiful, undeveloped wetlands, woods, sand dunes and beach. Protected from Lake Michigan by the dunes to the west, the park has many natural features not found in the rest of the state. In 1968, it was designated a National Natural Landmark. A Michigan Recreation Passport is, technically, required for parking. Dress in layers, wear a warm cap and sturdy shoes or boots and bring plenty of water. Depending on the weather, there may be some muddy or icy areas. The Hikers observes federal and state Covid guidelines, and masks are currently optional.

Directions: From Red Arrow Highway, head west on John Beers Rd. After you pass the I94 westbound exit, turn south (left) onto Thornton Rd. The parking lot will be a half mile ahead on your right. GPS: 42.003725, -86.542561 (DD)
Estimated Presentation Time: 10-15 min.
Estimated Total Time: 2 hrs.
Hiking Distance: 2.5 mi.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Leader: Pat Fisher, president, Harbor Country Hikers

An all-terrain Rollator is available on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing

Flash Hikes

The Hikers holds occasional Flash Hikes evenings, while it’s light out, and weekends when there are no scheduled HCH events. These hikes have no theme, no leader–just a walk in the woods with like-minded people.

The only notification of Flash Hikes will be by email to our list of members and others who’ve signed up for email notices of Hiker activities, and the emails announcing the Flash Hikes will go out two or three days beforehand. If you’re not on our email list and would like to be, send your address to As always, we look forward to hiking with you.

About Dogs…

Harbor Country Hikers welcomes dogs on our hikes, as long as they’re well-behaved and on leashes. Those who manage some of the trails we hike may feel otherwise, however, and they have the final word. Check with them before you bring the pooch. Chikaming Open Lands allows dogs in its preserves, as do the state parks. Chikaming Township Parks allow dogs. Berrien County Parks do not, nor do the New Buffalo Schools Nature Study Trails. Fernwood generally doesn’t, either, except on special occasions. The Dunes National Park generally allows dogs.

Other Hiking and Related Activities

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve–Fernwood’s LIGHTS, a holiday lights exhibit, runs November 26 through January 2, Thursdays through Sundays, 5-9pm Eastern. For more information, click HERE.

Ryan Postema, Executive Director of Chikaming Open Lands, speaks on the adaptability and resiliency of plants and animals in Southwest Michigan at the New Buffalo Library on Tuesday, December 7, 6:30pm Eastern at the New Buffalo Library.

Indiana Dunes National Park–most beaches and trails are open. For updates, visit

Indiana Dunes State Park
Call 219-926-1390 for information about park activities.