After a nearly three year hiatus it was time to once again get the boys back to the big dunes. With one short day to gather in all the sights we could of Sleeping Bear that meant keeping the trails short. Luckily at Sleeping Bear Dunes, however, the shortest trails are some of the prettiest. Perhaps none so for the effort as the Empire Bluff Trail.
Beginning from a small parking area just south of the village of Empire and the Lakeshore Headquarters, the Empire Bluff Trail winds its way quite leisurely out to one of the highest and steepest dunes in the entire lakeshore. Rising some 400'+ from the waters of Lake Michigan, Empire Bluff is a place you simply have to visit...words really don't do it justice. Come along and see for yourself...
Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 44.799153, -86.058490
Hike Length: 1.5 miles Hike Duration: 1:00
Trailhead Temp: 45'F
Min. Elevation: 870' Max. Elevation: 1,015'
Total Vertical Gain: 130' Avg. Elevation Gain / Mile: 173'