“A longer loop run at Hoffmaster State Park through the woods, along the lakeshore, and up to the Dune Viewing Platform.”
— Zander Göpfert
Fall Colors · Lake · Views
This loop starts from the main Genevieve Gillette Visitor Center parking area and heads south through the maple-beech forest on the Homestead Trail
. After some manageable ups and downs, visitors will make their way west, descending toward the lakeshore for a leisurely stroll north along the beach before returning to the Visitor Center after a brief spur up the stairs to the Dune Viewing Platform.
Need to Know
Exposed sand can be hot in the sunny, warmer months of the year. Be cautious when visiting with a dog. Traveling through sand is tough, expect time and effort to be greater than traveling on hardpack dirt. Ticks, flies, and mosquitoes present in the wooded sections, especially when it's warm.
For runners who like to save the best for last, look no further. This loop begins with a nice, undulating warmup from the Gillette Visitor Center southward on the Homestead Trail
. After 0.75 miles, the trail bends to the west to begin a descent toward the lakeshore. If this is your first visit to Hoffmaster State Park, take some time to enjoy the lake as you stroll to the north or break out a picnic to take it all in.
Around 0.5 miles to the north from where the Homestead Trail
comes out on the beach, look for a sandy clearing that marks the entrance to the Gillette Visitor Center Main Trail
, which provides the climb out and access to the final effort and reward of climbing the stairs to the Dune Viewing Platform.
From the top, you'll be able to look out over the dunes that you just walked through with the lake beyond, the perfect way to finish off a run at Hoffmaster before heading back to the trailhead.
Flora & Fauna
History & Background
Named after Percy J. Hoffmaster (1893-1951), the longest acting Director of the Department of Conservation in Michigan, who also helped establish 72 state parks. Hoffmaster State Park was dedicated in 1967.
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