Winter Expanse


Lake Michigan From the Dune

The lakeshore can be a lonely place during the winter. Not many people visit, and those who do, tend to stay close to the parking areas and simply walk out and take a photo, then walk back. To get the best view of the lake, you need to climb a dune. Most dunes are off limits, but there are a few where visitors are allowed to follow the trails up.
Following the Ridge Trail

We followed the narrow trail along the ridge of the foredunes to get to the tallest dune in the area. The trail is challenging enough in the summer months, but the ice and snow made it a bit more difficult on this day. The snow also hides the trail in some places, so you have to look ahead to make sure you're still on the correct trail - not that you'll get lost, but to protect the plants growing in the area. This time we were lucky to find another person's foot prints on the trail; maybe a park ranger. Winter Expanse
Once at the top, we were treated to the best view of Lake Michigan in the area. I would approximate the height of the dune at 80 to 90 feet, but perhaps it's a bit taller. It's often difficult to tell how high up you are when you see the lake below, things tend to compress visually, but here we could see the ice did not quite go to the horizon, and the Chicago skyline was in the distance across the lake.

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