For hundreds of years, the land that makes up Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was the home of the Anishinaabek peoples. They lived on the land for generations, and the park is named after the Sleeping Bear legend — an oral tradition of the Ojibwe peoples who were part of the Anishinaabek Tribe.
The Dune Climb is a rite of passage for many Sleeping Bear Dunes visitors. Located about 5 miles outside of Empire on the west side of M-109, this is one of the most popular activities to attempt at the park.
Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a must-do for visitors who want to experience all that the park has to offer. This scenic drive, however, is only open to vehicular traffic from May through November.
The Lake Michigan Overlook is one of the best places to relax and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan — but be wary of the steep bluffs that lead down to the lake.
The Empire Bluff Overlook provides a stunning view of the Lake Michigan coastline and South Bar Lake – one of the inland lakes in the area. On a clear day, you may see South Manitou Island as well.