National Parks / Natural World
Sleeping Bear Dunes Empire
Where are we going today?
Ever heard the saying "Don't wake a sleeping bear?", well we have a new one. How about "Quick wake up it's the day you go to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!"
Sounds safer doesn't it!
Sleeping Bear Dunes is an amazing place to visit with the family, and arguably one of the most beautiful nature spots in the entire state of Michigan. It's a place where the family can create, dream, play, and re-charge. The lakeshore is comprised of miles of sandy beaches, as well as bluffs which tower above Lake Michigan.
Clear inland lakes, amazingly lush forests and a unique collection of plant life and wildlife make up the amazing world that you can explore! If you climb up the sand dunes too, you get an amazing view of the lake!
Start your adventure at the Phillip A. Hart Visitor Center - it's a great way to get your orientation, some maps, and get that first glimpse of those amazing sand dunes! Grab the car and enjoy the 7 mile drive along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive which will loop you through the forest and dunes so you can get some pretty amazing views of Glen Lake and Lake Michigan.
Maybe you want to even take a hike along the Cottonwood Trail which actually takes you along the dune! There are lots of picnic spots along the way to enjoy too!
Bike the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, or relax on the beach - it's up to you! If you fancy a bit of history there is Glen Haven, which is a beautiful village restored to be how it was around 1900 so a great piece of history thrown into your day!
Amazing fun in one of the most beautiful places in Michigan!
How much does it cost?
- Adults$10 per vehicle. $5 per person on foot / bike
- Children$10 per vehicle. $5 per person on foot / bike
When can we go?
Park is always open. Visitor Center 8am - 6pm in summer. 8:30am - 4pm rest of year.
All year round
A classroom in the dunes! From educational programs to scavenger hunts, the park are happy to help you with your educational day out!.
There are snacks and drinks available seasonally, but why not take a picnic and enjoy your favorite family dishes! .
Make sure you take plenty of water with all the hiking and climbing. Don't want to be hydrated! .
Any Top Tips?
For a challenge, try the Dune Climb! Open all year round, but make sure you take water!.
Doing our bit
The park really look after everything in it, so help them out and pick up after yourself! Keep it clean for the next family. .
Need a little extra help?
Check with the visitor center what trails are accessible. .
Can I get one of those?
There is a bookstore where you can get games, books, maps, and educational items which can all help you learn more about the park! .
Check out the Junior Ranger program for the kids where they can get their very own badge! .