The Empire Bluffs Trail is one of the 13 mainland trails located within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. If you can only hike one trail at Sleeping Bear Dunes, we recommend Empire Bluffs. It’s a 20 minute drive (17 miles) from Sleeping Bear Resort. The trail parking lot is located on Wilco Road 1.3 miles south of Empire off M22. The trail is 1.5 miles round trip and is a gradual uphill hike. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the lookout point at the end of the trail. The view is spectacular. On a clear day you can see South Manitou Island.
There’s a couple picnic tables located adjacent to the parking lot and there’s a campground style outhouse but no running water at the trailhead. Most times, there’s maps located at the trailhead marker.
Another trail located nearby is the Treat Farm Trail.
Download a map in pdf format here.