"Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore" Glen Arbor by yooperprof

Glen Arbor Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 30 photos

Sand, Wind, and Lake

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is one of the splendid landscapes of the Great Lakes. The dunes of the upper Midwest are one of America's ecological treasures, and if they are not as much visited as some of the other national parks, that's not entirely a bad thing. Some people call this area Michigan's "Riviera". It's certainly a striking terrain of massive sand hills, steep cliffs, and interesting niches of varied flora and fauna. Perhaps one day National Lakeshores - not only Sleeping Bear, but also Pictured Rocks and Indiana Dunes - will be recognized as places just as significant as any other National Parkland.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is on the Lake Michigan coastline, some 25 miles west of Traverse City. There are sand dunes and sand cliffs all along the western coastline of Michigan, but it is here in the National Lakeshore that the cliffs are steepest and most dramatic.

Looking out toward South Manitou Island

This has always been a spiritually charged area. It's not surprising that the "first peoples" regarded these dunes as the spiritual home of their most sacred ancestors. North and South Manitou Islands are also part of the management zone of the National Lakeshore. There is limited ferry service to the islands during the summer months, from Leland.

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  • In a nutshell:Michigan's steepest sand hills
  • Last visit to Glen Arbor: Jun 2000
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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