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Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

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Grand Rapids, MI
2 posts
Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

I haven't been to the dunes since junior high (30 years ago) so I don't remember much except the humongous amount of sand everywhere. Are there boardwalks or paved paths that are stroller-friendly? We'll have our one-year old daughter with us. She walks well but usually not in the direction we want her to! We have no plans of going all the way down to the water, but will it be possible to get a stroller to the top where we can get a nice view? Or is it close enough to parking that we could get by without a stroller?

Bay City, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Michigan
Level Contributor
5,212 posts
1,204 reviews
1. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

At the Lake Michigan overlook on the Pierce Stocking drive, there is a paved path, then it becomes a boardwalk. However, at that point, you could always park the stroller off to the side and carry her down to the overlook itself. You do not want her toddling off towards the edge of the dune, of course, and it is pretty close to paved path. However, they were working on that boardwalk the last time I was there and they may have paved it farther! This is just one stop on the drive, as there are other places you could push a stroller...

The Dune Climb, well, no stroller possibility there! Except to visit the restrooms or gift shop. Do you have a backpack? That would be an excellent option.

North Muskegon...
Level Contributor
620 posts
79 reviews
2. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

Pierce Stocking drive is your best bet but Empire Bluff trail is doable with some muscle,lol.

Take an umbrella stroller and use it when you can.

You could also take the bike path from Glen Haven to Glen Arbor and pass through D. H. Day Campground.

It's about 2.5 miles each way.

Level Contributor
7,473 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

You don't even need a stroller for pierce stocking, you park right at each spot

Use a baby Bjorn like carrier for dune climb

Edited: 6:52 pm, September 18, 2012
Northern Michigan
Destination Expert
for Petoskey, Michigan
Level Contributor
2,007 posts
30 reviews
4. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

Get yourself a frame child-carrier backpack...if this is the kind of thing you enjoy, you'll get plenty of use out of it. There are some great, moderate hikes at SBD and IMO, you'd really be missing out not to hike at least a couple of them. I carried my 20 month old all up and down the trails in our 7 year old Kelty backpack...they last forever and are easy to carry. I just did a quick search on craigslist and found several used models for sale in the TC area ranging from $30-$100. The investment is worth it just to be able to explore in SBD, but my guess is you'll get a lot more use out of it than just that.

As a side note, it sounds like you're putting a lot of emphasis on the dune climb...that's just a small portion of SBD, and IMO, not nearly the coolest attraction in the park.

Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
Level Contributor
5,425 posts
221 reviews
5. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

agree with the baby backpack thing.

in fact, i have one i've been trying to sell on craigslist, but no takers!

Grand Rapids, MI
2 posts
6. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

Thanks for all of the input. I still haven't decided exactly what we are going to do but it's great to have all of these options. I think I have secured a lightweight stroller from a friend which will be nice for the whole trip even if we don't need it for the dunes. I'll see if anyone has a backpack we can borrow, or maybe I'll even spend the money to buy one. I can see where it would be pretty useful beyond this vacation.

7. Re: Sleeping Bear Dunes stroller accessibility?

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