After parking in the free public area near the U.S. Coast Guard station and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers building, we casually strolled the entire walkway to the State Park to play along the beach and lighthouse pier access. Two jackets, a headscarf, and a pair of gloves were needed for comfort. Other than a few determined surfers (yes, visit surfgrandhaven.com) and walkers, we had the place to ourselves with plenty of room to brace up against a pole and let the wind and spray batter us around. Then on the way back a sneaky, rogue wave came up behind us and crashed over the rail, hitting us in mid-back, buckling our knees, and soaking us all the way through our many layers. We couldn't stop laughing even though we counted ourselves lucky the rail was there to keep us out of the channel. It was a mile and a half squelch back to our car. Can you say brisk? We couldn't until we finally thawed out. Thankfully, we had plastic bags in the car to sit on for the two hour ride home, but next time we will be sure to bring a change of clothes... just in case.
Here's a video courtesy of jtb4422, taken in September 2009 to give you an idea of what it was like. We were actually across the channel on the lighthouse walkway.