Plan an Active Escape in the Art Coast
We know how addictive hobbies can be (ever tried pickleball, anyone?). Whether you’re visiting Saugatuck/Douglas for a workation or traveling for pleasure, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite pastime while you’re here. To help, we’ve compiled a sport-by-sport breakdown of all the places you can go to stay active doing the hobby you love.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park
If you’re looking for an adventure-filled day, look no further than Saugatuck Dunes State Park. Home to 2.5 miles of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline, coastal dunes, forests, and 13 miles of trails, this park is a paradise for hikers, trail runners, swimmers, and more.
Mount Baldhead and Oval Beach
If you’re a runner or hiker and up for a tough training session, ascend the 302 stairs up this 230-foot dune. With an elevation of 804 feet, Mt. Baldhead gives you spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River. Once you’ve caught your breath, follow the trails down to beautiful Oval Beach, where, if it’s a warm summer day, you can go for a swim.
Shore Acres Township Park
Popular with the locals, this park, adjacent to Saugatuck Dunes State Park, offers a two-mile mountain bike trail and disc golf course, which includes a challenging mix of open and wooded holes with elevation and unique sandy terrain. The mountain bike course is short but fun, with tight turns, sand, and a few hills to get your adrenaline pumping.
Start in Saugatuck and end on the south side of Lake Macatawa in Holland. This trail lets you explore both cities with a 24-mile round-trip. Begin with a hearty breakfast in downtown Saugatuck and be back here for dinner and drinks afterwards.
Beach to Bayou Trail
Short but sweet (less than two miles), this trail starts or ends at Wade’s Bayou Memorial Park on Kalamazoo Lake and runs down Center Street through downtown Douglas until you hit the waters of Lake Michigan at Lakeshore Drive. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, combine this outing with a kayak or stand-up paddleboard excursion (read on for more info!).
Schultz Park near downtown Douglas offers eight new pickleball courts, where the Douglas Saugatuck Pickleball Club has open play Monday-Friday, 9am–12pm. If you’re in town often and would like to join, the fee is $45. Not interested in open play? The club keeps one court available to the public at all times.
Saugatuck High School
Saugatuck High School features four outdoor, hard-surface tennis courts available to the public. You’ll want to go during daylight hours because these courts do not have lights.
Clearbrook Golf Club
This scenic 18-hole, par-72 course offers 6,556 yards of beautiful hardwood-lined fairways, well-bunkered greens, and several challenging water features—including a meandering “clear brook” which inspired the club’s name. Come for an inspired day on the greens and stay for the amenities, including a driving range, two putting greens, a practice bunker, and a restaurant and bar that’s a local favorite.
The Ravines Golf Club
Envisioned and built by the legendary Arnold Palmer, this exceptional 18-hole, par-72 course offers stunning natural vistas over 7,070 yards designed by the master himself. A Certified Audubon International Course and Certified US Kid’s Golf Family Course, the Ravines is sustainably designed and a great place to play golf with the whole family. Amenities include a full driving range, a short game practice area, two putting greens, a golf shop, and the Grill Room, where you can end a long day of golfing with, you guessed it, an Arnold Palmer.
Wade’s Bayou Memorial Park
If you’re looking for a place to launch your kayak or stand-up paddleboard, look no further than this charming little park in downtown Douglas. Stay in the bayou for a low-key paddle and wildlife viewing, or venture into the Kalamazoo River for a longer haul.
If you’re visiting friends or renting a cottage at this beautiful inland lake, you’ve got to get out on the water! This no-wake lake is perfect for paddle sports and offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, fishing, or just gazing at the sunset.