The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is a scenic trail located in northern Michigan. The trail runs through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The National Park offers stunning natural beauty and views.
The trail is a multi-use pathway that is handicap accessible and is designed for pedestrians, wheelchairs, skiers, and non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles. It provides an excellent way to explore the natural and cultural heritage of the area. Some areas have steep grades and there are warning signs on the trail. Make sure to read over the trailhead’s signs, they provide a lot of information about the trail and what you may encounter.
27 Mile Trail
The trail stretches for approximately 27 miles from the northern end of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at County Road 651 to the Leelanau/Benzie County line at Manning Road south of Empire. Currently the trail runs almost 22 miles between Empire and Bohemia Road, connecting to park attractions and the town of Glen Arbor along the way. Most of the trail is asphalt, but a 3-mile section which goes through the Port Oneida Rural Historic District north of Glen Arbor is crushed stone.
There are many trailheads where you can park and walk or ride your bike on the trail. Trailheads are clearly marked on the trail map.
- Bar Lake Road
- Pierce Stocking
- Dune Climb
- Glen Haven
- Alligator Hill
- Crystal River
- Bay View
- Port Oneida
The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail passes through diverse landscapes, including forests, meadows, and dunes, offering beautiful views of Lake Michigan along the way. It allows visitors to explore the natural features of the area, such as the towering sand dunes, lush forests, and crystal-clear inland lakes.
Historic Glen Haven is only 2 miles from the Dune Climb trailhead. Make sure to ride or walk along the base of the dunes and through the cedar forest to this old logging village. There you will find museums, blacksmith shop, general store, and the beaches of Glen Haven.
Along the trail, you will find interpretive signs that provide information about the region’s history, ecology, and geology.
Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes
The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes manages and maintains the bike trail. You may see one of the 40+ trail ambassadors in a bright orange vest riding or walking the trail. Feel free to ask them any questions about the trail or the park.
Whether you prefer walking, jogging, or cycling, the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail offers a picturesque and enjoyable way to experience the natural wonders of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a tranquil and scenic outdoor experience.