On the northwestern shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, in Leelanau and Benzie Counties, lies the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The Sleeping Bear is an area unlike any other, over 50,000 acres along Lake Michigan replete with hills and forests of birch, pine, beech and maple. The Lakeshore encompasses numerous small lakes and rivers (perfect for fishing), sugar sand beaches and, of course, the massive coastal sand dunes and bluffs. Offshore in Lake Michigan lie the North and South Manitou Islands, the areas of first Leelanau County settlement and wholly a part of the Lakeshore.
This region is protected and strengthened by the Leelanau Conservancy, which supports and preserves the natural beauty, ecological integrity and working farms of the Leelanau Peninsula. The Conservancy’s website is a rich resource to learn more about the natural areas and preserves, activities and hikes, and educational programs throughout the year.
In addition to its natural beauty, the Lakeshore boasts a rich cultural heritage, and structures and other parts of the heritage of Indians, lumberman, merchant sailors, farmers remain to be discovered.