Rosy Mound is considered a Great Lakes dune system and includes high wooded dunes, foredunes, a dune blowout and the beach. It is one of Michigan’s newer protected dune areas, with 164 acres protected by a $1.1 million-dollar effort by the county of Ottawa.
A 1.5-mile (roundtrip) trail takes visitors up and down 1,000 feet of stairs to view the dunes, dune blowout, woods, and water. The dune boardwalk trail is a specifically unique feature of this park, but note that the walk to the beach is described as “strenuous.” The best views can be found at the Dune Overlook, where you’ll see an expanse of open and forested dunes, white pines, the beach and Lake Michigan, with the only man-made item on the horizon being the boardwalk itself.
Swimming is permitted on the beach, but no lifeguards are on duty. Other activities and amenities available at Rosy Mound include hiking, picnic tables, grills, and shade canopies. Modern restroom facilities are located near the parking area, while rustic restroom facilities are near the beach. It is about a half-mile walk from the parking area to the shoreline.
The policy on dogs has changed over the years, so pay heed to current signage. The stairs, boardwalks, and trails are often narrow, so keep this in mind when bringing your dog to hike in this location. As always, make sure you have a pet first aid kit in your automobile at all times, in case your dog is injured during any hiking or beach excursion.
Motor vehicle parking fees apply from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and a daily permit is $7.