• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Trail Regulations and Safety Information

Please stay on designated trails. This will help prevent erosion and damage to vegetation. Off-trail hikers can quickly produce paths that take years to revegetate. Avoid disturbing plants and animals: threatened and endangered species occurr in the park.

Regulations for Mainland Trails

  • A Park Pass is required for all trail use within the national lakeshore.
  • Vehicles, including bicycles, are permitted only on roads.
  • Snowmobiling is prohibited except on rights-of-way along state and county roads.
  • Collecting plants and other natural, historical, and archeological items is not permitted. Exception: Certain edible fruits and mushrooms may be collected in limited quantities for personal use.
  • Pets on trails must be kept on a 6-foot leash. Pets are prohibited on ski trails December 1 - March 31 and at the Dune Climb throughout the year. Click for more details on Pet Rules.
  • Glass is banned on all park beaches.
  • Fires are permitted only in campground and picnic area fireplaces and fire rings and on areas of bare beach sand between the water and the first dune.
 

Trail Safety Information

  • Choose a trail appropriate to your ability.
  • Travel with a companion and notify someone of your route and expected return time.
  • Deer rifle season is November 15-30. Other hunting seasons occur throughout the year. Bright-colored clothing is recommended during these times.
  • Stay off steep bluffs to avoid falls and dislodging rocks that can injure people below.
  • Snow avalanche or sand slide danger is present year-round on steep dunes and bluffs.
  • Be careful of your footing. Trails include uneven ground, exposed roots, etc. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.
  • Carry drinking water.
  • Stay on marked trails.
  • Poison ivy is common. Learn to recognize it. Remember: Leaflets three, let it be.
  • Be prepared for mosquitoes.
  • Skiers: be aware of changing snow conditions. Alternate freeze/thaw can turn gentle slopes into icy, advanced hills.
  • Darkness comes early in winter. Allow plenty of time to return to your vehicle before dark.
  • Dress for the weather. In winter carry extra clothing and emergency supplies.

In case of emergency, seek help at the nearest ranger station, campground office, visitor center, or call 911.

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...