Monday, September 26, 2016

Field Trip - Pyramid Point Hiking Trail

Shara and I spent the weekend camping near Traverse City.  On Saturday (24 SEP), we went to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and hiked a section of the Pyramid Point Trail.  This popular trail segment leads to a bluff that rises 300 feet above Lake Michigan.  The trail to this overlook measures about 0.6 miles one way (for a 1.2 mile round trip).  The total elevation change of this trail is more than 200 feet, with about 140 feet of that coming in the final 0.2 miles of the climb.  If you are not used to climbing hills it can be a challenge, but the view is entirely worth the effort.

The trail leads upward

The trail passes though a mixed hardwood forest - including stands of birch

Shara stops to photograph something along the trail

Pay attention to the sign!

Tired, but proud, the view is totally worth it

Me with North Manitou Island in the background

The South Manitou Island lighthouse can be seen on the horizon at the left

The lake is 300 feet down from the top of the bluff!

Looking east along the bluff

A wider angle view of the horizon to the northwest

North Manitou Island - you see the dunes on the island's southwest side

Another view of the eastern horizon

Heading back down the trail

The Pyramid Point Trail is just one of thirteen named trails within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - not counting the trails on the Manitou Islands.  Sleeping Bear Dunes is located about 2 hours 15 minutes from Mid-Michigan.  There is a fee for using the park. Currently, a 7-day vehicle pass costs $15 or an annual pass can be purchased for $30.  There is also a pass for people entering the park on foot or by bicycle ($7 for 7 days).  Check the calendar, there are several fee-free days throughout the year - the next one is scheduled for Veterans Day (November 11th).

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