• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

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  • No water at Weather Station Campground until further notice.

    The well at the Weather Station Campground is down for repair. Water is not available at the campground at this time.

  • Changes in compendium

    The Superintendent's Compendium for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was updated on August 19, 2014. Changes were related to designated wilderness, mushroom collecting, and the use of unmanned aircraft. More »

Cottonwood Trail

Starting at this trailhead, you can take a l.5 mile walk on the dunes. Click to see a trail map and description of the hike. The trail is strenuous in places but will give you a close look at the beauty and diversity of the dunes. You will see areas that are stabilized with native dune vegetation such as bearberry and buffaloberry.

This is one of the few places where you can even see a birch tree on the dunes. In some places, wind erosion has produced bowl-shaped dunes known as blowouts, while in other places, the build-up of sand has partially buried living trees. Perhaps you will see some colorful wildflowers or tracks in the sand that reveal the elusive wildlife of the dunes. Take the time to get acquainted with this unique environment. Please stay on the designated trail.

 
Cottonwood Trail view of the Dune Climb
Cottonwood Trail view of the Dune Climb and D. H. Day Farm
Kerry Kelly 2006
 

Did You Know?

Cannery Boat Museum

The Great Lakes were the highway of the past. It was the main way that cargo and passengers moved through this area until roads were established. A variety of boats used on the Great Lakes are on display at the Cannery in Glen Haven within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. More...