Monday, October 3, 2016

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, MI

Having lived near the Gulf Coast most of my life, I’ve seen dunes. But nothing quite like these, some almost 500 feet high.

This lakeshore was created in a long unfolding geological drama starring ice, wind, and water. And it all lies in, on, and around Lake Michigan (a drama queen in her own right).

After poking around the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, I was eager to take to a trail. But I was in an odd hiking mood. I just wanted something different. And that didn’t include fighting gravity or weekend crowds on the popular Dune Hike.

I opted for the Bay View Trail.

It’s a hilly trail through a bit of forest at first, but then mostly along open farm fields. Perfect!

It would have been an easy hike except for the almost complete lack of signage. I was glad I talked myself into bringing the compass (which always feels silly on a loop hike). But it wasn’t just me that felt lost every few minutes. Due to the poor signage throughout the entire park, everyone else I encountered on this pretty sunny autumn Saturday was equally disoriented. Why is that so strangely comforting?

Still, it was pretty freaking wonderful to be tromping about.  The terrain and structures brought back many cherished childhood memories of family homes in North Alabama.

Along the way, I happen upon a lovely wedding party. 

After the hike, nothing in particular was calling me to hang around.  So, back on the road. US 31, that is.  I could take it all the way home - maybe I'll do that complete route one day.


  1. Yes, why fight crowds if you don't have to? Looks like a beautiful trail despite the signage issue. That is my biggest pet peeve about trails,lack of signs or incorrect signs!

  2. My niece is a National Park Ranger stationed at Sleeping Bear Dunes Nat'l Lakeshore. Her posts on Facebook inspired me to plan a visit to Michigan. Maybe I'll take that hike while I'm there. It looks awesome!

  3. I LIVE in Michigan and was at Sleeping Bear 2 weeks ago. Did not realize this hike was there. And have no idea why there isn't better signage. AZDonna should bring this up with her niece the Park Ranger. And I am definitely taking that hike next time I'm up there!


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