The beautiful sand dunes which have formed along the east coast of Lake Michigan are unique on the planet, as they border part of the world’s largest body of water, and have been formed by the gradual deposit of weathered granitic sands blown by the prevailing westerly winds to heights of over 200 feet. The entire succession is easily visible to a hiker exploring the many trails in state and county parks of Michigan from white sandy beach to grass lands and flowery meadows to gradual forest succession, reaching at the peak and lee sides of the dunes a mature eastern deciduous forest which has formed over several thousand years. All of this succession occurs over a distance of just a few hundred yards from the lake shore. This image shows a welcoming trail through the dune grass leading to a short white sandy beach at the edge of the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan, near the city of Holland, Michigan. Click on image to enlarge.