SLEEPING BEAR DUNES LAKESHORE

Attractions

This is my favorite attraction in Michigan. It covers a few towns so here are my favorite spots for families.

Beaches:

North Bar Lake

Platte River Point

Peterson Road Beach

Esch Beach

Hikes:

Pyramid Point

Empire Bluff Trail

Dune Climb

Heritage Trail

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Towns:

Check these out under MI Towns

Glen Arbor

Empire

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North Bar Lake

This is not an easy beach to get to with little's but it is worth it once you get out there.
You hike along North Bar Lake which leads to Lake Michigan.
A gorgeous view and the water is crystal clear.
I used my baby carrier to carry my 1 year old and my 3 year walked.
We all carried our beach supplies but a wagon would work too!

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Platte River Point

This beach is located in Honor, MI.  It is so great because Platte River flows out into this spot making it the ultimate fun for kiddos.  It is $5 to park and I highly recommend getting here early (before 10:30am).  Once you park, head towards the boat launch.  You will see a trail that goes along the river and you can find yoru spot!  We crossed the river to get to the island so we could have the best of both worlds, the river and the lake.

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Peterson Road Beach

This beach is at the end of a dirt road.  It is not well advertised but it is absolutely beautiful with the views of the SBD.  It is not very busy but there is so much lakeshore.  A Sleeping Bear Dunes Pass is required.

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Esch Road Beach

This beach is at the end of Esch Road.  If you head south on the beach you will come along Otter Creek.  This is so fun for kids to splash in as it flows out to Lake Michigan.  It offers a bit of a rockier beach but very beautiful views of the dunes

 

PYRAMID POINT

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This hike is in Maple City but apart of the Sleep Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Only a .6 mile trip to see a beautiful view of the North and South Manitou Islands
Baby Carrier is Recommended
Also it is a steep bluff at the look out point so use caution with little's.

EMIRE BLUFF TRAIL

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This is a moderate 1.5 mile round trip trail that leads up to a bluff to view Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes.  It has two look out views and worth every step to get there.  My 3 year old did the hike pretty well.
We used the baby carrier for my 1 year old.
Vaulted Restrooms available.

 

DUNE CLIMB

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This is located in Empire.  You can park at the bottom and run up a large dune with views of Glen Lake.  The Heritage Trail does run through here and there are picnic tables available.

HERITAGE TRAIL

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This mostly paved trail runs approx. 27 miles through towns along the Sleeping Bear Dunes.  We parked at the Alligator Hill Trail head and biked through Glenn Haven and the Dune Climb.

 

PIERCE STOCKING SCENIC DRIVE

This 7 Mile Scenic Drive leads you to many lookout points to view the Sleeping Bear Dunes including Glen Lake, Lake Michigan, North Bar Lake.
$20 fee to enter

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Lake Michigan Lookout in the Pierce Stocking Drive

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The covered bridge

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North Bar Lookout

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A large dune down to Lake Michigan