Hi there!

 

So the Walk-a-mile Trail is a fun little hike you can do in P.J. Hoffmaster State Park that will allow you to walk on a sand trail and see Lake Michigan!

So if you’re looking for an excuse to hike, you might look to this trail for a little hiking in PJ Hoffmaster State Park!

 

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

Walk-a-mile Trail: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

 

 

 

Now, figuring out how to hike the Walk-a-mile Trail in PJ Hoffmaster State Park isn’t all that difficult. Basically, you go to the main day use parking area of the state park, and you’ll look for the trail that’s along the side of the road as you drive to the parking lot. Then start hiking!

That said…

Here are a few quick things to know about hiking the Walk-a-mile Trail in Hoffmaster State Park!

 

1. You’ll drive to the parking lot of the beach and day use area to find the Walk-a-mile trailhead.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trailhead parking lot, hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. west michigan travel blog

 

 

2. You’ll see the Walk-a-mile trailhead on the side of the road off to the right just before you reach the parking lot.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trailhead, hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. west michigan travel blog

 

 

3. The trail will start off by taking you on a dirt trail through a forest.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail, forest hike to sand dunes and lake michigan, hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. west michigan travel blog

 

 

4. There are a few stairs.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail, forest hike to sand dunes and lake michigan, hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. west michigan travel blog

 

 

5. You’ll eventually come to a trail of sand.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail, hike to sand dunes and lake michigan, hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. west michigan travel blog

 

That means you’re almost to Lake Michigan!

 

 

6. You’ll then be on the top of some sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan!

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to sand dunes. hike to lake michigan. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to sand dunes. hike to lake michigan. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

 

You’ve made it to the highlight!

It might take you a little over 30 minutes to hike from the parking lot to the Lake Michigan shoreline if you’re following the Walk-a-mile Trail.

From here, you can turn back around to go back the way you came, or…

 

 

7. You can head down to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to sand dunes. hike to lake michigan beach swimming. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to sand dunes. hike to lake michigan beach swimming. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to lake michigan beach swimming. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to lake michigan beach swimming. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

 

 

8. There’s a sand trail to the right and you can hike along Lake Michigan.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to lake michigan beach swimming from campground. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

 

When you’re facing the lake, the trail off to the right is the one that leads to the PJ Hoffmaster State Park campground. So you can make it a hike along Lake Michigan from the campground too. You can walk on the sand trail, or your can make it a Lake Michigan beach walk.

 

 

9. There’s also a sand to the left, which will take you to the main Hoffmaster State Park beach.

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to lake michigan beach swimming from day use area. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to lake michigan beach swimming from day use area. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail. hike to lake michigan beach swimming from day use area. hiking trail near muskegon MI in hoffmaster state park. hiking norton shores MI. west michigan travel blog

 

When you’re facing the lake, the trail off to the left is the one that leads to the main PJ Hoffmaster State Park beach and day use area, where you parked.

This is the beach you’d access from the day use area. So you can also make it a loop around by going in this direction and then heading back to the parking lot.

 

 

10. The Walk-a-mile Trail is NOT a one mile hike!

You will be walking a mile… and then some. You’ll likely walk closer to 2 miles.

 

 

11. The Walk-a-mile Trail is a part of Hoffmaster State Park’s north hiking trails.

Map for the visual! At the top is the campground. At the bottom is the main beach and day use area. The Walk-a-mile trail is between the 2!

 

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail: Walk-a-mile trail distance. hoffmaster state park north hiking trails. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Lake Michigan water level

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail to Lake Michigan beach. lake michigan water levels and erosion. west michigan travel blog

 

As you may notice in some of the shoreline pictures of Lake Michigan, it looks like there’s almost no beach. These pictures are from summer 2020, and Lake Michigan water level were said to be high.

 

 

Lake Michigan beach swimming

Swimming in Lake Michigan is a thing. Although you may find it a bit cold depending on your tolerance. You may find a sign as you enter PJ Hoffmaster State Park listing the water temperature. On this early July 2020 day, the water temperature was 70 degrees!

 

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail to Lake Michigan beach. lake michigan water temperature. west michigan travel blog

 

Also, it’s important to know that although it’s a lake, in many ways Lake Michigan can act like an ocean. Take care! There are no lifeguards at Hoffmaster State Park.

 

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail to Lake Michigan beach. lake michigan swimming safety. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Take care not to walk on dune grass!

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking: Walk-a-mile trail dune grass. west michigan travel blog

 

You may have also noticed the dune grass in the pictures. Dune grass is said to be fragile and an important part of the coastal ecosystem. So take care not to step on it as you’re having fun on the sand dunes or at the beach!

 

 

🌳

 
More photos/info below, but first...
Side note!
Here's some info on Michigan vacation prep! Top Michigan vacation spots:
PLUS:




 

 

And now…

More PHOTOS of hiking in PJ Hoffmaster State Park on the Walk-a-mile Trail!

Hoffmaster State Park hiking location day use entry. walk a mile trail. west michigan travel blog

 

So to get to the Walk-a-mile trailhead start location, you’ll enter Hoffmaster State Park. And as a state park, the “cost” of hiking this trail will be the cost to enter the park. Hopefully you already have a Michigan state parks recreation passport! Otherwise, you can see current state park fees here.

Then, you’ll follow the signs to the BEACH, which is the main day use area. This will take you to the beach parking lot.

 

Hoffmaster State Park hiking location day use entry. walk a mile trail. west michigan travel blog

Hoffmaster State Park hiking location day use entry. walk a mile trail. west michigan travel blog

Hoffmaster State Park hiking location day use entry. walk a mile trail. west michigan travel blog

Hoffmaster State Park hiking trailhead parking. walk a mile trail. west michigan travel blog

 

Then, you can make your way to the trailhead that you passed on your drive to the parking lot!

 

walk a mile trailhead. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trailhead. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. are dogs allowed. pets. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. ticks. lyme disease in michigan. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

You’ll also see a “shoe brush” at the start of the trail. This is to help prevent you from tracking any invasive species that might be attached to your shoes from other places you’ve been.

 

walk a mile trail. brush off shoes. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. brush off shoes. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. brush off shoes. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

Start the hike through the forest!

 

walk a mile trailhead. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hike to lake michigan. hike to visitor center. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

And then eventually you’ll start to see a sand trail which means that you’re getting close to Lake Michigan!

 

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes and forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes and forest hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. hoffmaster state park sand dunes hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

And you’ve made it to the top of the sand dunes in this section of Hoffmaster State Park! There’s Lake Michigan!

 

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

And then after you’ve taken in the views from the top of the sand dunes, you can head to the shoreline!

 

walk a mile trail. lake michigan beach hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

Then, you can continue hiking along Lake Michigan away from the crowds…

 

walk a mile trail. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

Or you can make your way towards the main Hoffmaster State Park beach and back towards the parking lot!

 

walk a mile trail. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. lake michigan hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. lake michigan beach hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

And then you can take the regular beach path back to the parking lot!

 

walk a mile trail. lake michigan beach hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

walk a mile trail. lake michigan beach hike. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

There is a picnic area right at the parking lot, so you can then have your post-hike picnic here!

 

walk a mile trail. picnic area at parking lot trailhead. hoffmaster state park hiking. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Hoffmaster State Park hiking map

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail map. walk-a-mile trail map. campground trail map. lake michigan beach. hoffmaster state park north hiking trails. west michigan travel blog
Hike the Walk-a-mile Trail on the north side of Hoffmaster State Park.

 

PJ Hoffmaster State Park hiking trail map. homestead trail map. dune climb stairway overlook map. visitor center map. hoffmaster state park south hiking trails. west michigan travel blog
Hike the Homestead Trail on the south side of Hoffmaster State Park.

 

 

And that’s a bit about hiking to Lake Michigan and sand dunes in Hoffmaster State Park!

 

Explore more of Lake Michigan:

 

 

HAPPY HIKING IN P.J. HOFFMASTER STATE PARK!

 

Walk-a-mile Trail: P.J. Hoffmaster State Park hiking trails. sand dunes hike. lake michigan hike. forest hike. muskegon hike. west michigan travel blog

 

 

Turn your Michigan road trip into a national park road trip out west?! Take a look to get ideas for your road trip across America!



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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
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Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.