Dunes Hiking Trails

Empire, Michigan 49630

Dunes Hiking Trails

Dunes Hiking Trails Professional Review and Guide

"A challenging point-to-point Dune Climb-Dunes Trail for adventurous hikers, and a more gentle loop at Sleeping Bear Point for less-experienced dune fans. The Dunes Trail is the most popular of all the trail systems in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore because of the nearly 150-foot Dune Climb at the start of the point-to-point trail.

There are few trees here, but the grasses, wildflowers, and occasional windswept tree make this a starkly beautiful area. The sandy shoreline of Lake Michigan and the panorama of the dunes environment make this an unforgettable hike. Special attractions: Dune Climb, Maritime Museum."

Dunes Hiking Trails Reviews

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my girlfriend and i decided to hike this trail on a frigid, windy day in february, both of us enjoying immensely lake michigan beaches in the winter. we were seemingly the only humans there which added to the quiet beauty of the trail. we didn't realize there were markers (many were covered by the snow) for the trail until we were headed back, causing the first half of our journey to be much more tumultuous than the second half. the trail was challenging, marked by many inclines/declines, which we were prepared for considering dunes are aplenty in michigan and never fail when it comes to being difficult to climb. i would highly recommend this trail to anyone who is up for a considerable hiking challenge. i would also recommend that one hike this trail in the winter for it is as though you have stepped onto another planet with the stark colors, smooth, windblown dunes, little to no evidence of humans, and the crisp stillness.
What a workout! This trail is very rigorous. There are a lot of ups and downs, not to forget that you have to deal with all of the sinking sand. But the scenery! This is not just your average dune trail; the eco-system on these dunes are amazing. You'll see tall dune grasses, bizzarre looking trees, and really cool dune birds. Be careful in the spring time; you don't want to hurt the nesting piping plovers. When I went it was grey and raining; I think that it is almost better to hike this trail when it's so grey. It felt very surreal. If you want a good workout with great scenery, check this trail out...

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Spring through early fall
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Local Contacts
National Park Service Dunes Hiking Trail map; USGS Glen Haven quad.
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018