Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – August 25 to 28, 2011
For our last camping trip of the summer we went back up to Sleeping Bear Dunes with our friends and their two girls. This was our second time staying at the Platte River Campgrounds this year. It was one of our favorite places and we never get sick of staying here.
A couple weeks before we headed up, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was voted “The Most Beautiful Places in America” by Good Morning America. The secret is definitely out, the area was very busy especially on the weekend. To see the GMA story click here >>
Hiking the Alligator Hill Trail
We got up to Sleeping Bear before our friends and we spent the afternoon hiking up to the overlook on the Alligator Hill Trail.
From the Alligator Hill trailhead to the Islands Overlook and back is a 2.8 mile round trip. This was the longest hike the girls have been on and they both did great. The trail is nice and wide, but went slowly up hill most of the way.
Two image panoramic from the Islands Overlook on the Alligator Hill trial.
Reid was a little hungry after the hike to the top …luckily Mom was prepared.
For more on this hike see: Hiking Michigan (State Hiking Guides Series)
When we returned from the hike our friends had just arrived and were setting up camp. We stayed on site 103 and they were next door on 102. Both were nice big pull through sites just a short walk from the bathhouse. Site 101 on the other side was closer to us than you typically find at the Platte River Campgrounds where most sites are well spaced.
Site 102 at the Platte River Campgrounds.
The first morning our alarm clock went off extra early so we fed him a bottle and then headed down to Platte River Point to watch the sunrise.
One more from the sunrise at the mouth of the Platte River. North and South Manitou Islands can just be seen peeking over the horizon on the top left.
We saw several deer on the way to and back from Platte River Point that morning.
Paddling the Platte River
Joel and the girls went for a morning paddle on the lower Platte River.
Canoeing on the Platte.
Nothing but peace on the Platte.
Paddling under the fish weir on the Platte River.
After the kayak and canoe trip we had a picnic lunch. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach at Platte River Point while the girls played in the river.
The view of the Empire Bluffs and Sleeping Bear Point from the mouth of the Platte River.
Trying to sell rocks at the campground.
Out for another early morning adventure.
No deer this time, but we saw two turkeys out for an early morning stroll.
Hiking the Pyramid Point Trail
After breakfast our whole crew made the hike up to the top of Pyramid Point.
The view from the Pyramid Point Overlook.
Everyone hugged when we finally made it to the top.
Resting at the top.
For more on this hike and other in Sleeping Bear Dunes see: Explorer’s Guide 50 Hikes in Michigan: Sixty Walks, Day Trips, and Backpacks in the Lower Peninsula
After lunch at the park in Glen Arbor it was on to Glen Haven to visit the Cannery Boat Museum.
The color of the water at the Glen Haven beach was incredible.
Looking for rocks at the Glen Haven beach.
Walking around the historic village of Glen Haven.
The girls really liked the blacksmith demonstration in Glen Haven.
The girls even got to help.
Regan and Reese’s turn to help.
The Sleeping Bear Dune Climb
We always have to make at least one trip up the Dune Climb.
Almost at the top.
No bathrooms at the top, so Reesie needed to make a quick trip down.
Going back down is always more fun.
No strollers on the Dune Climb.
On the way back to camp we made a quick loop through the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. I didn’t stop at the popular overlooks because it was so busy that cars were parked on the side of the road. This shot was from a quick stop at the North Bar Lake Overlook and picnic area.
The last campfire …still learning how to take night shots.
Sneaking in a morning paddle around Platte River Point before packing up to head home.
I am often asked about the camera that I use for the photos on this site. We are starting to use our cell phone cameras more because of the convenience and improved quality. However, when I want to good quality photo it is still hard to beat my old Cannon DSLR camera.
I have been using a relatively inexpensive Canon Rebel XS with the 18-55mm lens for several years now. This trusty old camera only has a 10MP sensor, but the photos still look better than our 16MP point-and-shoot. For outdoor shots I often use a Circular Polarizer Filter to reduce glare and make the sky and other colors really pop.
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