Located in Michigan’s northern lower peninsula, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is an absolutely stunning national treasure. According to the Michigan DNR website, “Sleeping Bear Dunes is as old as continental ice sheets and as young as the 1970 Establishment Act that set aside the Lakeshore for preservation of the natural resources and for public use. The most prominent features, and those for which the park is named, are the perched dunes above Lake Michigan. These immense sand dunes are “perched” atop the already towering headlands that are glacial moraines. The dune overlooks at the Sleeping Bear, Empire and Pyramid Point bluffs are about 400 feet above Lake Michigan. With 65 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and numerous inland lakes and streams, the park is wonderfully water oriented.”
This lakeshore is long and narrow and tucked into a national forest. You’ll find meadows, wetlands, lakes, streams, and bogs. Activities of all kinds abound in this area. From canoeing to hiking to biking to wine tasting, this area has much to offer adventurers.
Climbing The Dunes
Climbing Sleeping Bear Dunes is an absolute must. The Dune Climb is located north of Empire on M-109. There is a lovely picnic area to sit at for refreshments and gorgeous, pure sand that makes the climb just that much harder. But when you reach the top you will see an absolutely stunning view of Glen Lake. The view is worth the climb. If you climb all 3.5+ miles round trip of the Dune Trail you’ll reach the shores of Lake Michigan, which are icy cold and offer a pure refreshing drink of water. This round trip hike isn’t long, but is extremely strenuous due to elevation changes and the resistance of the sand.
RVers love northern Michigan because of the vast amount of campgrounds available. You’ll want to plan your trip well ahead of time, because the camping season is so short in Michigan spots fill up quickly.
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