Warren Dunes State Park

Warren Dunes State Park

Infobox_protected_area | name = Warren Dunes State Park
iucn_category = IV

caption =
locator_x =
locator_y =
location = Michigan, USA
nearest_city = Sawyer, Michigan
lat_degrees = 41
lat_minutes = 54
last_seconds = 45
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 86
long_minutes = 35
long_seconds = 16
long_direction = W
area = 1,952 acres (7.9 km²)
established =
visitation_num =
visitation_year =
governing_body = Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Warren Dunes State Park is a 1,952 acre (7.9 km²) state park, located along the shore of Lake Michigan in Berrien County, Michigan, USA. The park's sand beaches make it one of the most popular of Michigan’s state parks with an average one million visitors annually.

Large sand dunes are found throughout the park. Some of the park's dunes include Mt. Fuller, Pikes Peak, and Mt. Edwards, while the best known is Tower Hill, the highest point in the park, standing 240 feet (73 meters) above the lake. Located beside the beach parking lot, this dune is the most visible to visitors, many of whom delight in scrambling up its slopes and rushing back down again. Sandboarding is a popular sport here and easy access to the dunes make it a popular location to practice the sport

The area was preserved by a local businessman, Edward K. Warren, who purchased the area, with the sole intention of preserving the fragile environment. By 1930, the area was designated as a state park. [http://www.harborcountry.org/sawyer/]

Facilities and activities

*Hiking (Four miles of trails)
*Cross-country skiing
**Beach House
*Designated Watchable Wildlife Site
**Picnic Area
**Picnic Shelter
*Metal Detecting - Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. [http://www.michigandnr.com/publications/pdfs/RecreationCamping/metal-maps/warrendunes.PDF Use a map] that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.
*Hunting - Most of the park north of the beach area is open to hunting part of the year.
*Skygazing--The clear skies allow viewing many more stars than in more populated areas.
*Clay painting: Walking about a mile up the creek which empties into the lake just south of the beach leads to large beds of light gray clay, through which the creek flows. At this location uninformed visitors partake in an unsanctioned and environmentally damaging practice. Mixed with the creek water, clay makes body/face paint which can be worn home, but is much more commonly washed off by another swim in the lake. Clay painting has a negative effect on the park environment due to the amount of clay that is introduced to the creek water through man made erosion and dispersion. Clay particles in the water create a turbid water environment (Turbidity). [ Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness in water. The more turbid the water, the murkier it is. Turbid waters become warmer as suspended particles absorb heat from sunlight, causing oxygen levels to fall. (Warm water holds less oxygen than cooler water.) Photosynthesis decreases with lesser light, resulting in even lower oxygen levels. Suspended solids in turbid water can clog fish gills, reduce growth rates, decrease resistance to disease, and prevent egg and larval development. Settled particles smother eggs of fish and aquatic insects. ] Turbid water can also have negative health effects if ingested, the higher the turbidity level, the higher the risk of that people may develop gastrointestinal diseases. These health hazards are particularly concerning due to the amount of small children and infants who play in the creek at the lake shore.
*Creativity: This park is big and often not crowded, so a great testing ground for beach activities and equipment. For example, it was the inspiration and development site for the Beach Buggy, a self-contained mini-kitchen which could be wheeled to a family's water-side picnic site.

See also

*Grand Mere State Park
*Warren Woods State Park
*Singing sand

External links

* [http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/ParksandTrailsInfo.aspx?id=504 Warren Dunes State Park- Michigan DNR]
* [http://www.tzphotos.com/warren_dunes_area Warren Dunes Area - Images]
* [http://www.unearthedoutdoors.net/parks/434 Photos, Weather, & Maps] - Unearthed Outdoors
* [http://sea.unep-wcmc.org/wdpa/sitedetails.cfm?siteid=22730&level=nat World Database on Protected Areas - Warren Dunes State Park]

Notes and references


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