• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

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  • D. H. Day Campground opens Friday, April 18

    D.H. Day Campground opens Friday, April 18, 2014. Register at the self-registration station near the entrance.

Esch House

Esch House

Esch House

Kerry Kelly 2007

The Esch House is on the north side of Esch Road. The house is just west of M-22 about 3 miles south of Empire. Look for this house as you head for the Esch Road beach.

This Victorian house was built around 1890 as part of a farmstead that provided livestock, dairy, and fruit to the inhabitants of Aral. The barn and other out-buildings have been removed, and the house is now used for housing for Lakeshore staff.

Continue down Esch Road to Lake Michigan, and take the opportunity to walk the beach and see where Otter Creek enters the lake. Near the vault toilet is an interpretive sign that describes the ghost town of Aral.

Did You Know?

Field Trips

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a popular field trip destination for school groups. Students can learn about geologic formation of the sand dunes, the fauna and flora that make this area home, and the logging and farming history as the area developed. More...