Sleeping Bear Getaway - Empire, Michigan
Sleeping Bear Dune Getaway - www.empirelakeshoreinn.com
Enjoy marvelous Empire, nestled in the heart of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore; a 72,000 acre park with boating and canoeing, hiking, scenic beauty, fishing and wildlife, and miles of pristine beaches. You can see cedar trees that were here when Columbus arrived, glacial formations older than the pyramids and views from hundreds of feet above Lake Michigan. The dunes are a living area. At one time the dunes were moving at the rate of six feet a year, burying everything in their path. In 1915, an estimated 200 acres of sand at Sleeping Bear Point vanished into Lake Michigan.
Day 1 - Sleeping Bear Dunes - In addition to the dune climbs there are plenty of hiking opportunities that take you to wilderness areas full of silence. There are overlooks that are as much as 400+ feet above Lake Michigan where breath-taking sunsets happen almost every day.
Day 2 - Two Scenic Drives - Port Oneida Historic Area - Sunset at the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive - There is time for lunch and shopping in downtown Empire between these two drives.
Day 3 - Float The River – There is no end to the fun you can have on the water in this area from rock hunting on the shore to floating the Platte River.
The Platte River is 10 miles south of Empire at the junction with Lake Michigan Road and M-22. This river is a favorite for kayaking, canoeing, and tubing. This is a fun float that is enjoyable for all ages and skill levels. The river meanders through woodlands at a gentle pace. There are a few small rapids and a few places to pull off and take a refreshing swim in the sparkling waters.
At some seasons of the year the salmon will be running the river attracting fishermen from across the nation. At those times don't be surprised to see schools of salmon navigating the river right underneath your tube or paddle board. After a leisurely drift you arrive at Lake Michigan. There is a nice park here and a beach that winds around to some great places for rock collecting.
Almost every evening, stunning sunsets are served up free for all to enjoy from this same park. You can get to the beach without floating the river by following Lake Michigan Road west from M-22.
Winter Fun - Old Indian Hiking Trail - The Old Indian Hiking Trail is easy access. It has excellent cross country ski trails but is a favorite hiking trail too.