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Address: Empire, MI
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Description:

This 4.5-mile challenging hiking trail is the most popular in Sleeping Bear...

This 4.5-mile challenging hiking trail is the most popular in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

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Beautiful but strenuous

We intended to hike the trail, but after the first dune climb we opted not to. It is very strenuous so be very prepared if you want to hike all the way to Lake Michigan. It may... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Wendy A
,
Livonia, Michigan
via mobile
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28 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 27: English reviews
Livonia, Michigan
Level Contributor
75 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

We intended to hike the trail, but after the first dune climb we opted not to. It is very strenuous so be very prepared if you want to hike all the way to Lake Michigan. It may only be 1.8 miles there but it is hard hard work. It was absolutely beautiful and the first dune climb is worth it... More 

Helpful?
Thank Wendy A
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Check map and distance from National Park Visitor first before doing this. We kept saying "just up that dune and we will see the Lake".... It turned out to be a rather long and amazing hike. All of this was fine but I would have brought snacks and more water had I realized the distance. Wonderful views and great soft... More 

Helpful?
Thank David I
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
39 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2016

My wife and I have hiked this trail a couple times, once in the late spring and most recently during the winter. Depending on your fitness level, this hike can be quite challenging as there is quite a bit of up and down as you make your way to the lake only to have to do it all over again... More 

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Thank devrie61
Kalamazoo County, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2015

We hiked this trail in August. The day we hiked was overcast - probably a good thing. IT would be a hot hike if the sun was bright and warm. We enjoyed walking the open dunes with the views of Lake Michigan. Lots of variety here - from sand dunes to trees and forest at the end of the hike.

Helpful?
Thank ajkuiper55
Grand Rapids, MI
Level Contributor
47 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2015 via mobile

Even though we didn't make it all the way, it was great fun and a lot of work. The dunes were beautiful and we made it far enough that we could see Lake Michigan in the background. Bring water. Lots of it. I started in bare feet, but put on my tennis shoes later which I think was better to... More 

Helpful?
Thank mamathoma
Longview, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2015

This is so much fun but so much work!! Be sure and take water with you! There is a trail that will lead to Lake Michigan, but we were too tired to go that far. We went about a half mile past the sign that said 1.4 miles to go! We got to see the Lake even though we didn't... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Dgrotheim
Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Level Contributor
56 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2015

I've done this hike twice (fall 2014 and June 2015). Both times were great! It's actually "easier" if you do it in cold weather, and you need to bring less water with you. If you are planning on hiking all the way to the lake and back, be prepared that it will take around 3 hours. If you are really... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank EJM87
usa
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

This is a 3 hour hike if you are in good shape. If not you will likely turn around but still have a good time climbing the first two dunes. Not for elderly people in weakened health. If time is limited do the pierce stockton drive there is an excellent overlooking dune that is much steeper than these but can... More 

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1 Thank kpwillie
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level Contributor
205 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

I'm so glad I did this, but I say this with a strong warning that this is a strenuous hike. It's 3.5 miles round trip, but could easily take you 3 hours plus however long you spend once you are at the lakeshore. Every time you reach the crest of a dune hill, you think you are there, but you... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Jackie255VT
Indiana
Level Contributor
109 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014

I didn't plan on hiking all the way to the lake, but my 14 year-old and 12 year-old really wanted to finish the climb. This trail takes some want-to. I've hiked in the Smokies and the Rockies and am fairly fit, but hiking over sand is a new experience. Plus, we were trying to hurry because we left my five... More 

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2 Thank Indianagogirl

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