Hike These Dunes In Michigan For The Ultimate Outdoor Adventure
Most Michiganders have heard of Sleeping Bear Dunes — it’s no secret that this gorgeous national lakeshore is one of the state’s most famous and beloved gems. But there’s a nature preserve south of Sleeping Bear that offers outdoor adventures and views that are just as stunning. For an amazing Michigan getaway, make Arcadia Dunes your next destination.
Located just north of the Manistee/Benzie county line, Arcadia Dunes (also known as the C.S. Mott Nature Preserve) is one of the state’s largest and most naturally beautiful undeveloped areas.
Within the preserve, you’ll find two miles of stunning Lake Michigan shoreline to be perused. Splash around in the cool freshwater waves or simply admire the sandy lakeshore as you walk along the banks.
While the beach is undeniably gorgeous, the Arcadia Dunes themselves are the true highlight of this stretch of land. Over fifteen miles of trails wind through the dunes, providing a perfect opportunity for outdoor exploration.
Arcadia offers trails to suit every hiking level. Take Camp Trail for a mostly flat landscape, or peruse the Baldy Trail system to experience breathtaking glimpses of the lakeshore. On foot or by bike, these forested trails are magnificent.
Within Arcadia Dunes, you’ll find unparalleled opportunities for birdwatching. Check out the Dryhill Grassland, which has been carefully preserved as a habitat for many of Michigan’s most fascinating birds.
When you reach the top of the dune hike, prepare to be awed by sweeping views from atop the bluffs. Watch out, Sleeping Bear: some of the lookouts at Arcadia are just as magnificent as the ones you offer.
So if you’re searching for a slightly lesser-known lakeshore and dune system to visit, look no further than Arcadia. You’ll find yourself rejuvenated and inspired after a day of meandering through one of Michigan’s most awe-inspiring natural preserves.
What’s your favorite Arcadia Dunes activity? Can you recommend a favorite trail? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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