Sleeping Bear Dunes: Old Indian Trail
But the trail still provides access to a beautiful beach and is often a rare escape from the summer crowds encountered elsewhere in this popular park. Old Indian also has one of the most unusual warnings found at any trailhead in Michigan: You Are A Visitor In Cougar Habitat.
It was along this trail that several cougar sightings were reported and resulted in the NPS posting the unusual trail sign here and elsewhere in the park. The trailhead sign goes on to say that seeing a cougar can be a thrilling experience but that if you do encounter one remain calm and do not run. If approached wave your arms and throw sticks and rocks. If attacked, fight back aggressively.
What a way to spice up a hike.
Old Indian Trail is a pair of loops that merge at 0.25 mile from the shoreline. Following the perimeter of the loops out to the beach and back would be a 3-mile, one to two-hour trek. Overall Old Indian is an easy walk along a wide path. Black Arrow Loop is by far the more interesting of the two as it dips and climbs a series of old beach dunes now forested. This described hike below follows the Black Arrow Loop.
The trail is also a popular area for Nordic skiers in the winter. The Green Arrow Loop is rated easy for beginners and is relatively flat with only a couple of gentle slopes. Black Arrow is rated intermediate and has one steep downhill section in the northeast corner of the loop.
|Difficulty - Easy|