Drive the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Empire, Michigan

based on 3 reviews


Added by Payton Bartlett

Drive one of the most scenic roads in all of America.

A seven mile drive that offers views that are unbelievable. There are twelve stops along the way that correspond with an interpretive guide that is found at the beginning of the drive. The drive takes you through multiple landscapes.  

The points of interest are as follows:

1. Covered Bridge

2. Glen Lake Overlook

3. Dune Overlook

4.  Cottonwood Trail

5. Dune Ecology (Educational Station)

6. Leaving the Sand Dunes (Educational Station)

7. Beech Maple Forest (Educational Station)

8. Changes Over Time (Educational Station)

9. Lake Michigan Overlook*

10. Sleeping Bear Dune Overlook (Shares a parking lot with #9)

11. North Bar Lake Overlook

12. Pine Plantation (Educational Station)

* There is a 450' dune that leads down to Lake Michigan. If you go down it will take approximately a hour and a half to get back up.

The educational stations do not all offer great views but do a great job of giving information about the ecosystems and etc.

The weather in the summer is extremely hot so make sure to bring water, a hat, and sunglasses. 

****A park permit will be required to go on this drive.  

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Picnic Area

Drive the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive Reviews

This drive was so beautiful and a wonderful way to explore the Sleeping Bear Dunes area! The views out to the lake and dunes are breathtaking. I love that it gives you so many varied views of the area - within more forested areas, views out to Lake Michigan, and of course the dunes themselves. Highly recommend enjoying the variety this drive and park have to offer!

I lived a few hours from here for a few years, and after coming once I realized this was a must-do for anyone visiting me. I went several times and enjoyed it more and more each time. The splendor of the view from the top (or bottom!) of the big dune is just incredible and overpowering. I also really recommend taking some time to do the hike through the dunes right by Sleeping Bear, not many people do it but we all really enjoyed it. Not to mention there are unique photo ops on the hike!

This truly is one of the most beautiful places in North America. This is a great way to start day or end an afternoon. Afterward, hit up one of the many great restaurants in Glen Arbor, which is just a stones throw from where you are. Cheers.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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