Sleeping Bear Dunes
Many people have long felt that the Lakeshore is the most beautiful place in the United States, and it seems that this deep love for one of the globe’s most stunning places is not misplaced. Within the last year, the Sleeping Bear Point Trail was selected as the best Hike-to-View option in any American national park in the National Geographic publication, “The 10 Best of Everything National Parks”, which also went on to recognize the Manitou Passage, a section of the lakeshore, as the 7th best scuba and snorkeling sites in North America. While these two accolades are worthy of respect, they are not the only honors bestowed upon this miraculous nature hub. The pristine beaches of Lakeshore were deemed the “Best on the Great Lakes” by renowned scientist and nature expert Dr Beach. All of these awards were made by experts, and sometimes this kind of praise seems out of touch to the views of the average tourist, but when it comes to Lakeshore it seems that everyone is agreement – the American public confirmed their admiration for the park by voting it the most beautiful place in America on the popular television show Good Morning America.
With so much to see and do you need as much information as possible before you visit in order to have the perfect stay, and that is exactly what this Visitor Guide is all about. We have highlighted recreational opportunities throughout the 71,000+ acres of protected park lands, as well as some of the activities our employees and volunteers are undertaking to preserve this special place for future generations. First-time visitors may find there are so many experiences to choose from, they will just have to return, and repeat visitors will likely be inspired to experience something new and different. Keep reading to find out exactly what we have to offer you!
There are several new additions to the park that are sure to steal your heart, including the exciting new opportunity to bike or hike the first leg of the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. The new four-mile section connecting the Dune Climb and Glen Arbor should be completed by July 4th. Pause in Glen Haven to see our new outdoor exhibits sharing the stories of the once-bustling coastal village. Should you be lucky enough to venture out to South Manitou Island, take our new tour of the island interior and walk the new boardwalk trail, which will take you past the famed giant cedars.
This spectacular place belongs to you and is yours to explore. Relax and revive your soul on well-maintained trails, perched dunes, pristine beaches, hidden lakes, quiet rivers, beautiful forests, secluded islands, and historic farmsteads. All this and more is waiting for you.
To enter the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from any point you will need a National Park Entrance Pass, which must be displayed on the driver’s side of your vehicle windshield or dashboard. Keep it on your person if you enter by foot or bicycle too! Passes can be purchased year round at the visitor center or Platte Point fee machine; or during regular hours of operation at campground offices during peak season.
Sleeping Bear Dunes Beaches
Sunshine, warm weather, and beautiful, clear water are a recipe for beach activities, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has miles of pristine beaches! You can sunbathe, build sand castles, play in the Lake Michigan waves, swim, or just walk along the beach. …Read more here
You may use your ride your bicycle on any established road that vehicles travel along, but why not try the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail? Note that all other trails are off limits. Join a ranger for a ride or explore these areas…Read more here