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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

1,860 Reviews

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

1,860 Reviews
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Private Frankfort Michigan Outdoor Tour
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PAHWestfield wrote a review Oct 26
Westfield, Indiana265 contributions52 helpful votes
Lots of trails to explore. Some sandy some not. Giant dunes. great views. Cool shoreline. Scenic. Campgrounds are also quite nice (even though they are large)
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Date of experience: October 2020
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ImmerWandern wrote a review Oct 18
Palos Heights, Illinois6,608 contributions531 helpful votes
+1
This is one of 3 National Lakeshore on the Great Lakes, the others being Pictured Rocks (MI) and Apostle Islands (WI). The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was elevated to a National Park recently. Sleeping Bear is much more than massive sand dunes and the infamous “Dune Climb”. The National Lakeshore stretches for 35 miles on the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Beyond dunes and beaches there are forests, lakes large and small, and rivers to explore. During our 2 days in the area we hiked the Empire Bluff Trail to the high dune overlook, did the Dune Climb and continued on the Dune Trail to the shores of Lake Michigan. We also checked out Bass Lake, Otter Lake and Otter Creek for a chance to hike in the woods and perhaps see some wildlife. We did not get to explore Glen Haven or Port Oneida. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the National Park Service had cancelled the ferry trips to the North and South Manitou Islands. One of the dunes was thought to look like that of a sleeping bear. The Ojibwa legend was that a mother bear and her 2 cubs took to the water to flee a fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan. She made it across as her cubs lagged behind. She climbed on top of a bluff where watched and waited for her cubs to join her. In vain. They had drowned. The Great Spirit created the two Manitou islands to commemorate the cubs. The sands eventually covered the sleeping bear. We hiked the Empire Bluff trail which led to the high bluff rising over 400 feet above the lake. There are are epic views to be enjoyed along the way but especially once you make it onto the bluff itself. The hike is just 1.5 miles round-trip, mostly in the shade of a forest. The Dune Climb was a brief challenge best tackled first thing in the morning while the air was still cool and before the sun got too high. The view of Glen Lake from the top of that dune was good, even better from the dunes further in. The challenge lay in making it through and over the series of dunes all the way to Lake Michigan. It was worth the effort. Bass and Otter Lakes were peaceful, as was Otter Creek. Unfortunately we didn’t spot any wildlife and mosquitoes There is truly a lot to see and do, easily worth 3 days worth of exploration.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Jasinda wrote a review Oct 15
8 contributions
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful area for anyone who enjoys hikes and beautiful scenery.
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Veronica Wilbur wrote a review Sep 2020
Columbus, Ohio37 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
We just left this area and were amazed at how beautiful it was! I would recommend Pierce Stocking Drive. There are stops along the way to learn about the history and incredible views. We only visited the dune on this trail because it was an easy trek for us. This is friendly for anyone who can walk at their own pace and also drive to each point. The last weekend in September was free admission and did not require a pass so we did not go to the visitors center. According to the website for the national park Oct 3rd is also a free weekend before the park is closed.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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thefamily3 wrote a review Sep 2020
Lafayette, Indiana106 contributions44 helpful votes
Was to b highlight of r trip and was closed I guess for covid. How stupid when it’s open air platform ! Michigan needs to lighten up several other places Closed also and we were not happy ! Traveled 9 hrs to see it 🤬😡
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Date of experience: September 2020
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