Explore the most popular trails near Empire with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Empire, Michigan Map
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Have driven this scenic route several times. It’s always beautiful.

My wife and I made the trip on this trail, to reap the wonderful reward, a view that is spellbinding! The clouds seem to be touchable from atop the bluff. The benches make a comfortable place to ponder the legend of Sleeping Bear Dunes, as the "cubs" (North and South Manitou Island) are easily visible from the bluff. Allow yourself some quiet time at the turn around to listen to the clarity and peace of nature on this trail. There is a friendly chipmunk that visited us also , sit still and be quiet, I bet he or she(?),will introduce itself to you!

Spectacular. We very much enjoyed the hike and sights.

Great drive with short walks to extremely beautiful views

Brought our large dog. Lots of other walkers, several w dogs. Hike was fairly easy w moderate elevation changes. Tricky part (at least w a large dog) was the wooden boardwalk as you approached the bluff. VERY narrow-not enough room for us to walk one direction and another hiker the other direction. A bit crowded overlooking the lake but the view was simply spectacular. No regrets!

Easy, neat walk to see the views of the lake.

Short and amazing views! Worth your stop!

hiking
1 month ago

great trail to take the kids on.

best views, after the boardwalk overlook it continues on a narrow sand trail. the best trail i’ve ever done

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great, short hike through the woods to a scenic overlook. We were able to take a stroller up most of the way. Once you reach the top, there are some more challenging, hilly trails in the sand (not technically part of the Empire Bluff trail) that we continued on for about a mile before turning back. You can’t reach the beach from this trail FYI.

trail running
1 month ago

Beautiful forest walk with periodic forays into colorful meadows.

Beautiful views and the informational signs were very helpful to understand the landscape and history of the area.

walking
1 month ago

An easy an beautiful hike. The trees are peaceful and provide shade and once you get to the top the view of Lake Michigan is superb. I would recommend this hike for anyone going to Sleeping Bear.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail trying out a toddler backpack carrier and had no problems! Perfect amount of sun and shade and a clear path to walk along. The views at the top are amazing!

Beautiful scenery-well worth it!

Nice mix of woods and bluffs. Keep going along a Sandy trail at the top for a longer hike. Lots of flowers and fine growth. Great views. Pretty easy trail even with a trick knee.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trail. Very wide and just as described. Saw couples in flip flops walking it. Beautiful view of Lake Michigan.

Easy hike with a beautiful view.

Nice easy hike with some decent views.

hiking
2 months ago

Fun trail with cool overlook over sleeping bear dune and Glen Lake. Recommend doing it in morning as it’s all sand and very little shade.

Lake Michigan overlook is unreal. And enjoyed the cottonwood trail as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy hike and awesome views as a reward

Great views at the end of this trail. Nice short walk through typical forests of the area.

Great trail!!!

It's a relatively easy hike with a nice view at the end. In my mind, the real trail starts where the official trail ends and you can hike south along the bluffs.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike with views of Lake Michigan and the Glen Lakes. Mostly sand... watch out for the Poison Ivy!!!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great trail with a spectacular view, was a little busy, but it was a holiday weekend. The directions didn't quite take us to the trailhead, so there was some confusion at first, but it was just a little further up the road. You start off in the wooded area with wildflowers with gradual gains and descents. There's a scenic view of the shoreline with a bench that you can take a break if needed before getting out to the bluff. Upon reaching the bluff you're greeted with an awesome view of Lake Michigan with some seating area.

Compared to the other SBD trails, this one wasn’t my favorite. A large portion of the trail is walking along Pierce Stocking Drive. There aren’t any scenic outlooks on the trial, although the North Bar outlook (and restrooms / picnic area) aren’t far from where the trail merges in with Pierce Stocking. There are some beautiful wooded areas, though.

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

Great picnicking area!

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