Explore the most popular views trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful wooded trail. There are a lot of little hills, but nothing major. The spur to the lake is dunes, and definitely the most challenging part of the trail.

I HATED this trail!

Many reviews of this hike were really positive and said that it had a variety of terrain. 85% of the trail is sand dunes, with the remaining 15% is forest. The forest part IS quite nice, but also quite short. Had I known so much of it would be really monotonous looking sand dune, I would not have gone. Before I had even reached the midway point, I was cursing the sand and just thinking about how much I hated this trail.

Clearly some people really like this trail, but I was not a fan.

Great variety of terrain- great views!

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike! Lake Michigan just beyond post 27. About 4 miles round trip.

Did north loop on a snowy Saturday.
Snow shin deep.
Look out point was gorgeous. Trail marking non existent once you get out of the woods, at back part of loop. Ended up walking 1.1 miles on road to get back to trail head parking lot, after a # of attempts to get there via trail.

Map obtained at trailhead lot was worthless.

Loved this trail - perfect for kids too, distance is perfect.

Agree with review below, a favorite for the lower peninsula. Recommend heading out clockwise...reaching the water last. That way you can look for Petoskey stones as long as you want. Otherwise, you have the remaining hike looming. Terrain changes are amazing. A favorite for sure

Beautiful

Great hike and great views. Be sure to take plenty of water.

Great picnicking area!

Iiiiiiiki n go k
K need m

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is all about Elevation but when you get to the top it will be well worth it. Great Views of Big Glen Lake and Lake Michigan.

Easy trail beautiful scenic lookout

hiking
4 months ago

Great, tough hike! We kicked off our shoes and walked in socks only. It was helpful since the sand bogs down worse in shoes! We actually took our kiddos (6 & 3) and they were tough cookies!! Once we reached the lake there were about 12 people there. Great secluded spot and worth the effort to enjoy the peace at the lake

One of my favorite hikes in Lower Michigan. Excellent views and diverse trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Very difficult - bring water. But the views and the dunes are incredible! Even better are: Sleeping Bear Point Trail or Empire Bluff Trail or Treat Farm Trail.

hiking
4 months ago

One of my favorite short hikes in Michigan. Keep going south on the ridge all the way to Treat Farm if you want a real adventure!

hiking
4 months ago

Hard dunes, but worth the effort!

hiking
4 months ago

Try to go at sunset for a breathtaking view.

hiking
6 months ago

Easy hike on well maintained trail with fantastic views of Lake Michigan.

Amazing sights!

crowded but lovely

Exhilarating hike in mostly sand. Lots of amazing views.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike. black outer trail, and walk to Lake Mi great workout. green trail cuts black trail through the middle, very mild terrain.

Great views and easy hike!

hiking
7 months ago

Great, short hike in in the Sleeping Bear area. Good western view for sunsets.

hiking
7 months ago

Great dune hike. Best done on a cooler day.

I felt it was a very tough hike but well worth it. There are a ton of amazing views of the lake and the beach was very nice with amazing views of the islands.

backpacking
8 months ago

Spectacular piece of wilderness in northern Michigan! My girlfriend and I had a couple of extra days on vacation and decided to go on a backpacking trip. We booked a seat on the ferry from Leland to the island and paid our backcountry camping fees the day we left. The island is huge and the trails are well-maintained for the most part. If you want to break off of the main trails, there are numerous"unmaintained" trails that you can follow, but definitely bring a map and compass as these are easy to get lost on. It's relatively easy terrain without a ton of elevation gain, and the soft/sandy soil is easy on the knees and ankles even after long distances. The wildlife is beautiful and you're almost certain to see deer and a huge variety of birds.

We went from Sunday to Tuesday in late August, so we were nearly alone on the island and only encountered a couple of other hikers.

Camping on the island is excellent, but you can only have campfires in the designated campground. If you camp in the backcountry like I did, you cannot have a campfire and will be restricted to using your stove for cooking and lanterns/lamps for light. That said, the backcountry campsites I used were excellent. If you camp near the shore of Lake Michigan you can hear waves crash on the beach as you bed down for the night. If you stay more inland, be prepared for nearly absolute silence in the woods, broken only by the calls of owls and other nocturnal creatures.

A word of warning: The island is infested with poison ivy. It is literally everywhere you go. If you plan on camping in the backcountry be sure to pack alcohol swabs or some other anti-poison ivy product to clean yourself off every few hours. It's a miracle my girlfriend and I didn't get rashes. Additionally, bring first aid tools and extra provisions. The ferry takes about an hour to get to the island, and the nearest hospital is in Traverse City, so be prepared for emergency. The beauty and remoteness of this wilderness area make it one of my favorites in all of the Midwest.

nature trips
8 months ago

Wonderful drive--must-do if you're in the area. Great scenic look-outs. Get the paper with all the waypoints listed from park ranger at the beginning. Also do the trail that leads to the sandy steep overlook.

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