Although we’ve seen so much in and around Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, on the northwestern shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula were the main reason for coming to the area.
The National Lakeshore, encompasses 64 miles of Lake Michigan shore line, includes two off-shore islands, with lakes and more than 71,000 acres of land. However, like most visitors, we gravitated to those locations with great views and soaring sand dunes.
Our first stop was at the Visitor’s Center in Empire where a short video provided both an excellent introduction to the park, covering both the geologic history and Native American legend relating to its creation … and including some absolutely spectacular photography.
After entering the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore we detoured along the 7.5 mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This drive runs through an incredible diverse landscape and embraces dense birch and maple forests, rugged, glacially and wind formed bluffs (some towering more than 450 above the shore), pristine sandy beaches and amazing views of nearby lakes and farms.
Join us for a trip through this amazing landscape …
We took a short hike back into the dunes.
Our next stop, perhaps the most popular in the Park, was the “Dune Climb”, somewhat smaller in height but with far softer and less compact sand that what we experienced last year in Colorado’s Mosca Great Sand Dunes.
Before heading back down, we saw a group of late teen/early twenty boys demonstrating some athleticism we could only dream of.
Leaving the sand behind … other than what we later discovered remained between our toes … we traveled to Glen Haven, a former logging and later canning center of the area. Today, it is a tourist stop with several old buildings