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Review Highlights

I almost don't want to talk about it so it stays just as it is. The walk is peaceful, large paths... read more

Reviewed 2 weeks ago
Zeeland, Michigan
via mobile
This is a beautiful place to visit. A Michigan jewel and worth the drive. The sights

This is a beautiful place. One of Michigan's jewels and well worth the trip. There is a wonderful... read more

Reviewed November 6, 2018
Diane K
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  • Excellent82%
  • Very good15%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“easy hike”(23 reviews)
“short hike”(17 reviews)
Extending two miles in length, this picturesque point-to-point hiking trail is rated moderate in skill level.
Empire, MI
+1 231-326-4700
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All reviews easy hike sleeping bear dunes short hike moderate hike nice hike miles round trip south bar empire bluff beautiful view maple forest ups and downs a small parking lot viewing area bring your camera overlooking lake michigan parking area sunny day
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1 - 10 of 249 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I almost don't want to talk about it so it stays just as it is. The walk is peaceful, large paths and the views sneak up on you. .75 miles each way. The view is jawdropping!

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank AdamInZeeland
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

This is a frequent stop for summer journeys. Great spot to take sunset photo's. The steps to the top can be challenging.

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank R3107YCdavidd
Reviewed November 6, 2018

This is a beautiful place. One of Michigan's jewels and well worth the trip. There is a wonderful hotel right there in Empire called the Empire Lake Shore Inn. The hotel is quaint and affordable and the staff is amazing. It is a small town...More

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Diane K
Reviewed November 5, 2018

Short, but sweet hike through forest which culminates in memorable views of Sleeping Bear Dune. Benches in some locations so you can stay a while and soak in the beauty.

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank jalowu
Reviewed October 22, 2018

Easy hike through the woods out to some great views from the top of the dunes. A few elevation changes but not much

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank BPONaperville_IL
Reviewed October 21, 2018

Bluff trail takes about 15-20 minutes to get to the Bluff from the parking lot. The walk is well worth the effort. Along the way you can stop and view the Sleeping Bear Dune in the distance. At the end of the trail at the...More

Date of experience: October 2018
2  Thank wigsy
Reviewed October 10, 2018

I think it was a less than 2 miles along a hiking trail that opens up to beatiful, scenic views at the end. It's well worth the time.

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank lvsdx
Reviewed October 6, 2018 via mobile

This was the first time my husband and I hiked the Empire Bluff Trail. We felt the trail itself was relatively easy but could be difficult for some people. The views were absolutely stunning. Words can’t even describe how beautiful and peaceful it was up...More

Date of experience: September 2018
2  Thank Set_Apart
Reviewed September 11, 2018

We hit this trail first thing in the morning and were the only ones out there on the way out. The hike is pretty easy although there is a bit of an uphill slope most of the way. Since we were the only ones around...More

Date of experience: September 2018
1  Thank Chris B
Reviewed September 2, 2018 via mobile

This trail is very nice and the view is amazing. The trail has some steep parts. This is the most popular trail in Sleeping Dunes.

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank Floreschicago
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Nearby AttractionsSee all 16 nearby attractions
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
1,693 reviews
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Questions & Answers
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January 15, 2019|
Response from shannonlerae | Reviewed this property |
It never used to be, but now there’s a paved parking lot and a jiffy john :) The whole area has gotten more popular and more publicized, so I would call the Parks office and see what they are doing about that these days.
Bud W
June 12, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from suzip95 | Reviewed this property |
Absolutely. Nearly everyone had a dog it’s them on leash.
March 20, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Gran52 |
It is a one and a half mile round trip according to the trail brochure. From the parking lot it starts the climb right away. I am a 66 yr old couch potato and was able to make it by stopping to catch my breath on the uphill... More
Travel Forum Posts
Eaton Rapids, Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dunes and government shutdown (22 Replies)
We've visited this area many times and I'm trying to think exactly where I've seen 'gates'. Not too many places. I imagine one should be able to drive down to Platte park and park in the township lot. It's a lakeshore, how can they keep you off? Empire Bluff trail? Will one be arrested for hiking it? Anyone, especially locals, want to weigh in on this? Thanks.
October 03, 2013|
Response fromSarahlynnha|
I think the main places with gates are the dune climb and Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. I think you should still be able to do quite a bit of hiking and sightseeing with no problem. I know there are still a couple of officers on duty, so be sure you do have a park pass in your car just in case.