MT BALDHEAD PARK
You've got to go to Mt Baldhead Park. This giant sand dune is one of a kind. And, you can ride the only hand-pulled-chain ferry in the country across the Kalamazoo River to get there.
To the top of Mt Baldhead and the observation deck, you will climb 282 steps. Some call it the stairway to heaven because at the top of this 600' dune you can see Saugatuck and the Kalamazoo River Valley to the east and all the way to Lake Michigan to the west! What a view!
Then, you can hike down the other side of Mt Baldy, or better yet - RUN down the other side of Mount Baldhead just like we loved to do as kids. Boy, was that fun! Our legs would go so fast that we looked like cartoon characters.
You can see Mt Baldy from many areas of the Saugatuck Douglas area. Just look up! It's the giant tennis ball on the hill. Actually, it was a radar station set up in WWII to watch for planes coming in over the Great Lakes. Today, it is a landmark and boaters on Lake Michigan often use it as a location marker.
And when you get to the bottom of the dune, you're right at the Lake Michigan Shoreline at beautiful Oval Beach Park. Take some time and walk the beach, take a swim, look for beach glass or Petoskey stones, build a great sand castle, or just enjoy the wonderful lake view.
The picture to the right shows the new stairs recently built that include several "resting benches" at various points in the climb. Thank You!
Mt. Baldy also hosts the yearly Mt. Baldhead Challenge which is a 15k race that ends with a climb up to the top of these 282 steps.
If you enjoy the Mount Baldy sand dunes, be sure to visit Saugatuck Dunes State Park just back across the river. Here's a Saugatuck Dunes State Park Map showing the layout as well as the various hiking and cross-country skiing trails Be sure to check all our handy downloadable Lake Michigan and South Haven to Saugatuck area maps!
First, park your car in Saugatuck by Wick's Park so you can ride the famous chain ferry across the Kalamazoo River to Mt. Baldy. Then, besides the "Baldhead Experience", be sure to visit the Douglas Saugatuck Historical Museum. The setting and the displays are outstanding! The museum shares the parking lot with Mt. Baldhead Park so you can't miss it.
Besides Mt. Baldhead, this area has many other attractions nearby to fill your day.
The wonderfully restored Felt Mansion shares a parking lot with Shore Acres Park, which is just a stone's throw from world famous Oval Beach and has a great history. There are also tales of Felt Mansion hauntings you may want to hear about.
Here is a fun Mt. Baldy Video. Towards the end, you'll see several shots of the "tennis ball in the sky" that helps you easily find Mt. Baldhead when you're driving around Saugatuck.
This video also shows the "off-season beauty" that is often missed by visitors who only come to the South Haven to Saugatuck lakeshore during the summer. Towards the end of the video, you'll see some great views of the " Giant Tennis Ball in the Sky " as Mt. Baldy is sometimes called. Take a look:
Mt Baldhead Park
Easy to get to.
Located: (see #28 on Saugatuck Points of Interest Map) Free parking in the shady lot.
Restroom facilities at the parking area.
GREAT picnic area (free to use) right at the parking lot that overlooks the Kalamazoo River and the impeccably kept gardens of the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum. It's a perfect setting for a snack after your Mt Baldy climb!
Additional Helpful ResourcesCheck out our DOZENS OF SOUTH HAVEN and SAUGATUCK FREE MAPS.
Most comprehensive South Haven and Saugatuck area Calendar of Events.
Use the easy "copy and paste" link to pass these resources on to friends. They'll thank you - and so do we!
Have YOU Had A Mt. Baldy Experience?
Do You Have A Story or a Picture?
If you've got a story, we'd love to hear it.
What a perfect Michigan Vacation Spot. Enjoy Mt Baldy and
Return to Saugatuck MI from Mt Baldhead Park
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