• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Good Harbor Bay Trail


Loop 2.8 miles long.


Flat, wet in places


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


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.

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