• 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 »

Good Harbor Bay Trail

Distance

Loop 2.8 miles long.

Terrain

Flat, wet in places

Vegetation

Mostly wooded with a short section of low dunes at the start

Comments

Picnic area and Lake Michigan beach near the trailhead.




Click to download a Good Harbor Trail map in pdf format.
 
Good Harbor Bay Trail Map
Good Harbor Bay Trail Map
NPS Map 2006
 
Good Harbor Bay Beach

Good Harbor Bay Beach accessed from the Good Harbor Bay Trail

Kerry Kelly 2006

The Good Harbor Bay Trail is almost entirely flat with just a few small grades. Near the beginning of the trail, there is a short section of low coastal dunes, where there is access to the beach. Then the trail turns away from Lake Michigan and becomes wooded for the remainder of its length. A portion of the trail passes through a swamp, and a small bridge assists in crossing a couple of wet spots.

 
Good Harbor Bay Trail

Boardwalk on the Good Harbor Bay Trail

Kerry Kelly 2006

The trail lies between Little Traverse Lake and Lake Michigan. This entire strip of land was underwater at the end of the Ice Age and has emerged gradually during post-glacial times. Along this trail, you can see the different plant communities that have developed in zones parallel to the shoreline. Starting from the beach and traveling inland, you pass through an active dune zone, a shrub zone, a pine-oak forest, and the beginnings of a beech-maple forest. Just a few thousand years ago, the forested zones were barren beaches. Plants, through their growth and decay, have built up a topsoil on top of old dunes.
 

Did You Know?

Night Sky

The night sky is vital to many plants and animals that call Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore home and it holds a variety of meanings for many cultures. An unpolluted night sky is especially valuable to humans wishing to experience natural darkness, shooting stars, or the Milky Way.