Sleeping Bear Dunes: Shauger Hill Trail
When most people stop along Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore it’s to enjoy the spectacular overlooks of Glen Lake or Lake Michigan, have a picnic or hike the Cottonwood Trail. But the 7.4-mile scenic road also provides access to a second trail that receives light usage even at the peak of the busy summer season.
Shauger Hill Trail is a wooded 2.1-mile loop with a trailhead and parking area near the contact station at the beginning of Scenic Drive. The hilly trail passes through a climax beech-maple forest, red pine plantations and a few small clearings and twice crosses Shauger Hill Road as well as Pierce Stocking Drive.
In the spring the trail is an excellent one for wildflowers and to hunt for morels. In the fall the colors are superb and in the winter it’s hills are thrilling runs as part of the Scenic Drive Ski Trail. In the summer, however, it’s lack of outstanding views and shoreline, in a park filled with them, has most people looking elsewhere to hike. That makes Shauger Hill Trail the ultimate escape from crowds. Even when the viewing decks are packed and Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is lined with slowly crawling vehicles, you will encounter few if any other people on this foot path.
And, of course, no mountain bikes as their activity is banned from almost all the national lakeshore trails.
|Difficulty - Moderate|