Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Those Are Some Big Dunes
Within the vicinity of Sleepy Bear are several small Northern Michigan towns too, including Empire (where the visitors center is), Glen Haven (a restored logging village with two historical museums), and Glen Arbor (a super cute resort town, home to Cherry Republic and the Great Lakes Tea & Spice Company, and a great place to rent a kayak for a lazy day on the river).
Since it is a National Park, a park pass must be purchased at the visitors center, but it is well worth the cost of admission. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive takes visitors through the park via their car, with many turnouts to see incredible views and take short 'walks' through the bluffs and dunes. Since we've done the drive several times in our lives, we decided to head off the well worn path and head to a hike a little north of Glen Arbor and on the outskirts of the park - Pyramid Point. The description lists the trail as an advanced 2.7 mile trail including forest, bluffs, and a meadow plus a bit of two track road at the end. There were also included a few very steep hills! It turned out to be the perfect length hike we were looking for and led to an amazing view! Another great thing about it was that since it wasn't directly on Pierce Stocking, there weren't as many families and tourists, and we only shared the view from the bluff with a few other people, and one super athletic dog!