The Great Lakes shoreline is decorated with vibrant stones, smooth sea glass and dainty shells. Northern Michigan’s beaches in particular are a paradise for those in search of beach treasure. Here are a few insider tips on the best beaches and seasons for rock hunting. (Bonus! Experts say walking on the beach is good for your health.)
What supplies should I bring when rock hunting?
Carry a utility tray with a handle like you would keep your cleaning supplies in. If it has a few separate compartments you can sort the rocks. A spray bottle is a must. The rocks must be wet to see them clearly. They all look like clumps of limestone until they are wet. Bring a sifter to sort out small pebbles, a pick or garden tool for pulling up large rocks sunken in the sand and a knee pad. If you plan to stay on the beach for the entire day, or if it’s hot, take a chair, cooler and beach bag with plenty of water and snacks.
Are certain times or weather conditions better?
Summer is great so you don’t have to bundle up and it’s fine to get soaking wet. Winter is even better. The beaches are empty. Fall is the best time of all as the winds of November bring fresh crops of rocks constantly and the ice isn’t on yet. Beaches are best right after a storm. Cloudy days are easier to see the stones. You can’t see patterns with sunglasses on either.
What can I do with the rocks I collect?
You can make everything from paperweights to picture frames to wearable jewelry. Hand-poured “beachscape” candles and beach stone kleenex boxes make great gifts.
Best Spots to Find Beach Treasure:
- Leelanau State Park
- Wilderness State Park
- Petoskey State Park
- Fisherman’s Island State Park
- Traverse City State Park
*State Land Rules by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources: It is illegal to remove from state-owned land more than the aggregate total weight of 25 pounds, per individual per year of any rock, mineral specimen (exclusive of any gold bearing material), or invertebrate fossil for individual or non-commercial hobby use.
(Have you ever heard of Leland Blue? It’s a gorgeous blue stone found only in Leland. Check it out!)
By: MyNorth Media