Sleeping Bear Dunes: Good Harbor Bay Trail
Within Sleeping Bear Dunes, a park of towering dunes and rolling ridges, Good Harbor Bay Trail is the rare exception. This 2.8-mile loop is almost entirely flat, a trail where a change in elevation is better measured in inches not feet. A small strip of beach dunes is encountered in the beginning but the rest of Good Harbor Bay is an easy walk in the woods with the extent of the scenery being the trees themselves.
People new to the sport of Nordic skiing love this trail. Its level contour - the grade never exceeds 10 percent - and the abundance of lake-effect snow off the bay makes it easy to master the kick-and-glide technique of traditional cross-country skiing. The forested landscape tends to hold the snow late into the season.
For hikers it’s a different story. The numerous outstanding trails in this corner of the state makes Good Harbor Bay and its lack of scenery a mundane choice at best. But the trailhead is located in a pleasant little picnic area that overlooks a wonderful beach. A family with young children could spend an afternoon here hiking in the woods and playing in the surf and then top off the day with a picnic dinner that includes a tableside view of Lake Michigan. Stay long enough and maybe they’ll catch a sunset. Not a bad way to spend your summer vacation in Northern Michigan.
|Difficulty - Easy|