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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Located in the state of Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau and Benzie counties near Empire, Michigan. The park covers a 35-mile-long (56 km) stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou islands. This Northern Michigan park was established primarily because of its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. The lakeshore also contains many cultural features including the 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former stations of the Coast Guard (formerly the Life-Saving Service) and an extensive rural Historic farm district. In 2011, the area won the title of "The Most Beautiful Place in America" from Good Morning America. In 2014, a section of the park was named the Sleeping Bear Dunes Wilderness by the United States Congress.

  • Pets are allowed on some trails and exterior areas
  • Pets are allowed in the following beach areas:
    • From Platte River Campground / Railroad Grade trail north to Peterson Road.
    • From Esch Road north to the Lakeshore boundary (south of Empire).
    • From Peterson Road south to Old Railroad Grade Trail/Platte Campground Trail.
    • From the Lakeshore boundary north of Empire to just south of the North Bar Lake stream outlet.
    • From Maritime Museum east (but not on the Maritime Museum grounds) to the Lakeshore boundary (west of Glen Arbor).
    • From the Lakeshore boundary north of Glen Arbor around Pyramid Point to CR 669.
    • From CR 651 north to the Lakeshore northern boundary.
    • Glen Lake Picnic Area
  • Parking areas and along paved roads
  • Developed campgrounds and picnic areas
  • Must be restrained or kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times.
  • Dogs must wear a collar with current tags at all times
  • Pick up after your dog at all times – Leave no trace

*Please see more details for leash info

  • Inside buildings (unless service animal)
  • The Dune Climb
  • Maritime Museum grounds
  • North Bar Lake
  • Platte Point Beach
  • White Pine and Valley View backcountry campsites
  • All group campsites
  • North and South Manitou Island (all pets, including hunting dogs). Trained aid dogs accompanying the blind or hearing impaired are permitted.
  • Any other areas where “NO PETS” signs are posted after a determination by the Superintendent that a specific conflict exists requiring such a closure.
  • Pets are prohibited at the following designated cross-country ski trails during the periods of December 1 through March 31: Old Indian, Platte Plains Trail System (including Bass Lake, Otter Creek, and Lasso Loop Trails) , Windy Moraine, Scenic Drive Ski Trail (seasonal trail system) , Shauger Hill, Alligator Hill, Bay View, Good Harbor Bay, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
  • Undeveloped campgrounds or other areas
  • Never leave your pet unattended or alone inside a vehicle
  • Never off leash – unless inside a vehicle, tent, dog crate or other portable kennel
  • Untagged dogs or dogs with uncurrent tags
  • Excessive barking

*Please see more details for leash info

  • Extreme range of weather
  • Extreme heat
  • Poisonous Snakes
  • Poisonous Plants
  • Spiny and prickly plants
  • Predatory animals
  • Be aware of animal traps and hunting areas
  • Swim safely, extreme water areas
  • Ticks and biting insects
  • Do not drink from waterways
  • Bring plenty of drinking water

Leash Laws: Most parks require dogs to be on a leash in some or all areas, however, some parks allow dogs off leash in certain locations, please consult the parks website before going off leash, Thank you!

  • Dog life vest or flotation device is recommended
  • Consult the park website before traveling all information is to be used as a guide.
  • Respect local wildlife.
  • Leave no trace – What you bring in, you bring out.
  • If you are visiting during the hottest months of the year, a “palm test” is recommended before walking your dog – place your hand on the pavement for a minute and see if it is comfortable there. If the pavement feels hot to your palm, it will be hot to your dog’s paws.

(231) 326-4700

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Website

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Camping

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Hiking

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Volunteer

We do our best to keep all information current and accurate - If you see an error or think we have missed something please contact us directly.

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We do our best to keep all information current and accurate - If you see an error or think we have missed something please contact us directly.

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