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There’s No Breakfast Like Trail Breakfast

Last updated Oct 15, 2020 | Published on Sep 29, 2020

I gazed across Lake Michigan from my vantage point on top of a sand dune. The sun peeked over the trees just behind me, bathing the area with soft morning light.

I took a bite of my freezer bag oatmeal. It’s been long time since I’ve had breakfast on the trail. Just because I’m not doing any backpacking this summer doesn’t mean I have to forget all my hikertrash habits.

Although this oatmeal has fresh blueberries with it. Now that’s a treat I’d rarely get to have on an actual backpacking trip.

Trail breakfast

Warren Dunes Loop Trail

Daniel and I had a big day of driving ahead but I wanted a get in a hike before we hit the road. So I got up early this morning.

Warren Dunes State Park is home to over 6 miles of trails. The trails are accessible from the campground’s lower loop so I headed there to begin my hike.

After crossing over a sluggish creek, I headed north. This was not the shortest path to the beach but I didn’t mind. I wanted to explore more of the woods before heading inland.

The Warren Dunes trail system is accessed from the campground’s lower loop

A lovely stroll through the woods to start my morning

A sandy path with sun-dappled trees

Hm. Maybe I should be wearing orange. I don’t really own any orange clothes, however…

The trail continued through the forest for about a mile before heading up some sand dunes. Once the path broke out of the trees, I stopped for breakfast on a ridge overlooking the lake. It was my first trail breakfast in a long time.

After finishing my oatmeal, I continued west until I hit the coast line. I could see all the way to the day use area from this vantage point.

Walking along the beach looked like a pleasant way to spend the morning. So, I ditched the trail system and ambled among the shoreline for the next mile.

Eventually, I reconnected with the Mt. Randall Trail which headed back to the campground.

The view near my breakfast spot

Warren Dunes has an interesting trail numbering system. The junctions are numbered rather than the trail segments.

Dune flower (that would make a great trail name, right?)

The Beach in the morning

I accidentally grabbed Daniel’s hiking poles this morning. Luckily, I was able to adjust them to my size. Walking on sand is hard work and I used the poles a lot.

A look back at the lake before re-entering the forest

Daniel took this photo of me climbing up the Mt. Randall Sand Dune the previous afternoon.

This loop in Warren Dunes State Park was about 4 miles

Fall Foliage Preview

An hour and a half later, Daniel and I were back on the road. We were on a mission to see fall foliage in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was a 7-hour drive but we weren’t in a particular hurry. So we broke up the drive over 2 days.

For folks that aren’t familiar with the great state of Michigan, it is divided into two sections. The bottom section is affectionately referred to the mitten because, well, it looks like a mitten. It is separated from the Upper Peninsula (U. P.) section by the Mackinac Bridge.

Today we drove from Warren Dunes State Park in the very southwestern corner of the state to Higgins Lake. Continuing the mitten analogy, the lake is located about where the middle joint of the mitten’s middle finger would be.

The trees are changing colors at this rest area

Apparently every state has nicer rest areas than Washington State.

As we drove north, the fall foliage became noticeably more colorful. I couldn’t wait see what the trees looked like once we made it all the way to the U. P.

It was my turn to drive today so I didn’t get to take many photos. The only photos that I took from our drive today were from a rest stop along Highway 131.

Where am I now?

I am at Warren Dunes State Park! Or, at least that’s where I started the day. I ended the day at the Higgins Lake/Roscommon KOA Campground (refer to map below).

Date: September 25, 2020
Great American Road Trip Status: Day 82
Starting Location: Warren Dunes State Park, MI
Ending Location: Higgins Lake KOA, MI

Miles Traveled: 240
Total Trip Mileage: 5144.1

For more details on our Great America (Socially Distanced) Road Trip, see my previous posts:

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Hi, I'm Unicorn!

I am an avid hiker, traveler, and adventurer who is on the mission to explore hiking trails around the world.  I’m also obsessed with National Parks, long-distance trails and other outdoorsy things.

I hope to share this knowledge with you and inspire you to explore new hiking trails too!


  1. ourcrossings

    Warren Dunes State Park looks and sounds like a fantastic place to explore. I bet it’s super beautiful during the fall when the leaves change colours. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. I hope to visiting Michigan state one day when it’s safe to do so 🙂 Aiva

    • Unicorn

      Thanks Aiva!


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