Don't be misled by the low mileage--you'll want to dedicate at least an afternoon to Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive's 6.9 miles. Located within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, it is recommended by the National Park Service for "expert" cyclists only, due to the steep terrain, sharp curves, and traffic. Combined with the Glen Arbor Cruise, it can easily fill a day. Pierce Stocking is a microcosm of the entire park, which stretches for 35 miles along Michigan's west "coast."
The winding, hilly, one-way road with a dedicated bike lane is designed with twelve stopping points where the highlights and contrasting environments within the park are explained. While picnic areas are provided, there are no restaurants or vending machines on Pierce Stocking Drive, so stash snacks in the bike bag before setting off. The drive is named for its creator, lumberman Pierce Stocking, a self-taught student of nature and lover of northern Michigan's woods, water, and dunes. It's to the public's benefit that he lived when he did.
© Cari Noga/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.