Exploring Sleeping Bear Dunes: A Guide to Must-Dos and Hidden Gems

Are you looking for adventure in Michigan’s great outdoors? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers a wealth of opportunities to explore nature and indulge in some fun activities. From hiking to swimming, to stargazing and exploring hidden gems, here are some of the top things to do near Sleeping Bear Dunes:

  • Dune Climb: Challenge yourself to climb the towering sand dunes and enjoy the panoramic view of Lake Michigan from the top.
  • Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive: Drive along a 7.4-mile scenic route that takes you through diverse terrain, including forests, dunes, and bluffs. Be sure to stop at the overlooks for stunning views of the lake.
  • Pyramid Point: Hike the trail to Pyramid Point for breathtaking views of the Manitou Islands and the lake. This is a great spot for stargazing as well.
  • Good Harbor Beach: Relax on the beach and take a dip in the clear waters of Lake Michigan. The beach is also a popular spot for kayaking and paddleboarding.
  • Platte River: Go tubing, kayaking or canoeing along the scenic Platte River. This river is perfect for beginners and families with kids.
  • Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail: Take a leisurely bike ride or walk along the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, a paved trail that runs for 22 miles through forests and meadows.
  • Glen Haven Village: Explore the historic buildings of Glen Haven Village, a former maritime village. You can visit the museum and general store, and even take a boat tour.
  • Empire Bluff Trail: Hike the Empire Bluff Trail for stunning views of the lake and the surrounding forests. This 1.5-mile trail is moderately challenging, but the views are worth it.
  • Pyramid Point Trail: The Pyramid Point Trail is a 2.7-mile round trip that takes you through forests and fields to the top of the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The views from the top are breathtaking, especially at sunset.
  • Sleeping Bear Point Trail: Take a hike on the Sleeping Bear Point Trail to explore the park’s sand dunes and enjoy the view of the lake. Keep an eye out for the historic Life-Saving Station, which was built in 1901.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or looking for a relaxing getaway, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has something for everyone. Explore the must-dos and hidden gems to discover the beauty of this Michigan treasure.