Hi there!

 

The slogan for the state of Michigan is “Pure Michigan” and you can especially feel it when you make a trip up to northern Michigan!

People have compared the views seen along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to views seen in the Caribbean.

And if you’re visiting for the first time, that makes for some high expectations!

But, it’s true!

 

Empire Bluff Trail - best hikes sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. things to do in Michigan road trip from Detroit, from Chicago. Near Traverse City. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. things to do in Michigan road trip from Detroit, from Chicago. Near Traverse City, near UP upper peninsula. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

 

 

I saw this national lakeshore for the first time a few weeks after I spent around 6 months in the Caribbean. And it did feel like these views in Michigan were comparable to views of the Caribbean Sea! But what you’re actually seeing is Lake Michigan.

If you are driving from the south and the lower peninsula on your way to the upper peninsula, consider making a slight detour to take a walk on this lake shoreline of Michigan.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has even been named the most beautiful place in America.

The Empire Bluff Trail is a short hike that can give you some of the most beautiful views in the United States!

It will be best to visit this place on a sunny day so you can see the colors of the lake at its best!

 

 

About the Empire Bluff Trail

According to the National Park Service:

The Empire Bluff Trail is 1.5 miles round trip.

 

 

🌳

 

 

 

And now…

A bit of what you’ll see with a hike along the Empire Bluff Trail!

aka… PHOTOS!

There’s a parking lot right at the trailhead.

You’ll take a short trail through a forest, and you’ll start to see your first views of the iconic national lakeshore.

Then you’ll continue on to see sweeping views of Lake Michigan!

Being a “dunes” national park, there’s also a sand hill here that you can run up and down for fun too!

 

Empire Bluff Trail through forest - in sleeping bear dunes national park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail through forest - in sleeping bear dunes national park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail through forest - in sleeping bear dunes national park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail through forest - in sleeping bear dunes national park. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail sand dunes - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail sand dunes - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

And that’s a bit about hiking the Empire Bluff Trail!

 

More of the best places to see sand dunes in Sleeping Bear Dunes:

Also see some of the great hikes in Sleeping Bear Dunes, including hikes to a Lake Michigan beach!

See the best of Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Plus the best of Michigan’s national lakeshores!

 

HAPPY HIKING ALONG THE EMPIRE BLUFFS!

 

Empire Bluff Trail - sleeping bear dunes national lakeshore park. things to do in Michigan road trip from Detroit, from Chicago. Near Traverse City, near UP upper peninsula. beautiful places to visit in the US, United States. Northern Michigan travel blog

 

 

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Things to pack for your Michigan vacation!

The ultimate beach towel for travel?!
Turkish towels are considered to be more lightweight than your average beach towel while still being absorbent. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
How to be a little bit more eco-friendly during your road trip!
Instead of using plastic silverware, try out bamboo silverware like this set!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phone
You can beach-proof your phone with a simple waterproof phone case like this.
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!
Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're swimming in Lake Michigan or Lake Superior! Less sunscreen also means less chemicals from that sunscreen will enter our precious Great Lakes!
Get your travel bags more organized!
Packing cubes can make it so you're spending less time on your vacation looking for things! They are basically a form of drawers in your suitcase. Take a look at these packing cubes.