Friday started out pretty rainy, so we spent the early part of the day inside reading and watching movies, but by 3pm the rain moved away and the sun came out, so we decided to get in a hike.
We considered the 3.5 mile hike to Lake Michigan from the Dune Climb, but thought it would take too long, and decided that the Sleeping Bear Point Trail, also part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, would get us to the same area of the lake quicker and easier, and added a 2.8 mile loop over the dunes and through some forest, so it would be more interesting.
We drove through the historic village of Glen Haven to the parking lot at the trailhead, and headed out into the meadow of dune grass.
We quickly came to the spur trail that went down to Lake Michigan, and crossed the sand valley,
to where the lake came into sight.
Nicolas began his hunt for petoskey stones,
but without getting his clothes soaked, he didn’t have much luck. Tom checked out the water – it was cold!!
The waves were a lot bigger than they were the previous day, too!
We could have walked for miles on this beach,
but it was a little rocky for swimming! Not quite warm enough, either!
Before long, it was time to move on and hike the loop trail back to the trucks.
Most of the trail was on the dunes, so we all ended up carrying our shoes.
The recent rains made walking easier though – the sand was cool and even hard-packed in some areas. At the tops of the dunes, the views were spectacular!
In some areas, we were hiking through narrow paths in the dune grass,
but other areas were as wide-open as a desert!
The kids have limitless energy, it seems, as Nicolas would take side trips up the sides of the dunes,
and the four younger kids got waaaaay ahead of us!
We took our breaks at the top of each new sand dune,
and just kept plodding along. Eventually, the trail headed into the woods,
and the cool shade was a welcome relief. So were the trucks when we arrived back at the parking lot!
It was a really nice hike, strenuous in places, but never a shortage of beautiful views. We found out later that this trail was recently named the best Hike-to-View of all national parks, by National Geographic! We would agree!