Winter on the shores of Lake Michigan can be harsh, cold, and windy. Lake effect snow is a big deal on the west side of the state with snowstorms seeming to blow in our of nowhere. As much as I love Lake Michigan, I tend to avoid it in winter. I’m not a winter fan to start with but the cold Lake Michigan breezes tend to be too much for me. Yet, this winter I was able to experience Lake Michigan twice in its harshest season (the other being to St. Joseph in January). Each time I was surprised with how many people flock to the beach in the winter. No, they are not sunbathing and swimming like they do in the summer. They were trekking out to lighthouses, sledding down sand dunes, and playing in the snow and ice.

As harsh and cold as it can be, Lake Michigan’s beauty is not seasonal. Ice on the shore and snow on the dunes really added something to the landscape that you don’t get in the summer. While there were more people out than I expected there to be, it was definitely not a summertime crowd, so it is much easier to capture a landscape without people in it (not that that’s a bad thing…I really should do a post on that one of these days). Although, winter skies in Michigan frequently leave something to be desired, I was very glad that I made it out to Muskegon State Park on a cold and blustery February day. Now, its March and I’m ready for it to warm up and be camping season, OK?

Thanks for stopping by! Are you brave enough to explore Lake Michigan in the winter? Let me know in the comments! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.