• 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 »

Empire Bluff Trail

Distance

Round trip is 1.5 miles

Terrain

Hilly

Vegetation

Beech-maple forest, fields, and dune plants

Comments

The trail leads to a high bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. A self-guided brochure is available at the trailhead. For your safety and to protect the environment: please do not descend the bluff. The trail ends at post #6 in winter because of hazardous ice and snow conditions on the boardwalk and bluffs.

Click to download a map in pdf format.

 
Empire Bluff Trail Map
Empire Bluff Trail Map
NPS Map 2006
 
View of Lake MI from Empire Bluff
View of Lake MI and South Bar Lake from Empire Bluff Hiking Trail.
Terry Phipps 2005
 
Old Farm Equipment on Empire Bluff Trail

Old Farm Equipment along the Empire Bluff Trail marks the location of an old farm.

Kerry Kelly 2006

The view of the Lake Michigan shoreline and South Bar Lake from the Empire Bluff Overlook is spectacular. On a clear day, you will also see South Manitou Island. On this 1.5 mile round trip hike you will also find 6 numbered posts which correspond to an interpretive description of the area along the trail. Be sure to pick up a trail map brochure at the trailhead and take it along with you on your hike.
 

Did You Know?

Ferry to Islands

Sleeping Bear Dunes includes two large islands in Lake Michigan - North and South Manitou Islands. Take a day trip to South Manitou Island and explore the island village and lighthouse or take a motor tour of the farming district. If you go to North Manitou Island, plan to camp overnight! More...