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Empire Bluff Trail is a point-to-point trail leading to bluffs above the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Empire Bluff Trail is a multi-use trail affording pleasant hiking conditions three seasons of the year and cold blustery cross-country skiing opportunities in winter. The trail not only features a pleasant walk amid maple / beech forests and open fields, but six interpretive stations highlight the surroundings. When trekking through the field and forest, look for remnant farm equipment from pre-park days. Wildflower enthusiasts are treated to a speckled forest floor each spring.

Undoubtedly the best feature of the Empire Bluff Trail is the spectacular view afforded at the bluffs overlooking Lake Michigan. The short climb to Empire Bluff Overlook offers memorable sights of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Platte Bay and South Manitou Island. You must retrace your steps back to the trailhead on this linear path.

Note: Hunters do use this area during the fall hunting season; wear blaze orange when hiking.

Directions: From Empire, MI, At the junction of M-72 and M-22 lies the NPS Visitor Center. Take M-22 south for about 2 miles to junction with Wilco Road. Turn left and go 1 mile to trailhead.

Difficulty: Moderate

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.