Some restrooms and trash cans not available until Memorial Day
Changes to visitor service due to Sequestration. Other than those at the visitor center and campgrounds, restrooms and trash cans will not be available until Memorial Day Weekend and will close after Labor Day. This includes the Manitou Islands. More »
Maritime Museum closed
The Maritime Museum and Boathouse are closed until further notice.
Esch Road Beach
Kerry Kelly 2005
This beautiful beach is located at the mouth of Otter Creek. It is fun to wade in the warm water of the creek. Walk up the creek to see a variety of wildflowers that line the banks. The creek outlet to the lake can move north or south depending on the wave action on the lake. It can look different each time you visit.
Esch Road is located about 3 mile south of Empire on M-22. Turn to the west and follow the road about 1 mile to Lake Michigan. You can park along the road and there are bathroom facilities.
This is the site of the former little logging village of Aral. Take time to read the interpretive sign that describes the logging activities that made this an active logging town and port.
Did You Know?
North Manitou Island, part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is located in the pristine waters of Lake Michigan about 8 miles off the Northwest part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. It's 15,000 acres, managed as wilderness is Backpacking Heaven! More...