When I was growing up in Southwest Michigan I was blessed to have Lake Michigan and all of the beaches, dunes, trails,  and small inland lakes within a 10 minute drive of just about anywhere. It was always easy to find something to do.

My friends and I usually hung out in St. Joe at Silver Beach or Lion's Park Beach. They are both awesome locations to have fun. Take a day in at the beach and then walk out on the pier, those were daily activities for me growing up. I miss that.

The main beaches in St. Joe get packed, quickly, during the summertime. One of the best things about growing up in Southwest Michigan is knowing where the hidden "gems" are. Where can I go to avoid crowds? Grand Mere State Park is one of those hidden gems. It is located in Stevensville. Right next to Grand Mere State Park is North Lake Park in Stevensville.

The state park is great and there is another hidden "gem" that is adjacent to the state park. Check out the pics below. This park is clean and well kept. They have a pavilion you can use, plenty of places to throw your line in the water, a playground for the kids and so much more. There is very little traffic so the crowds are very small. Although you most likely won't take a dip because of the lily pads, Lake Michigan is a two minute drive away.

My mom used to take me here to fish when I was a kid. We used to catch perch, blue gill and I recall landing a pike. Creating memories like that with my mom were priceless and you can do the same with your kids.

Grand Mere State Park is located at 7337 Thornton Dr, Stevensville, MI 49127. Visit North Lake Park at 3600 Grand Mere Road in Stevensville.

If you want some privacy and serenity, it's worth the trip.

Grand Mere

Arch Rock, Mackinac Island: 1880-2000s