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“Beautiful scenery”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Empire Bluff Trail

Empire Bluff Trail
Ranked #3 of 15 things to do in Empire
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Extending two miles in length, this picturesque point-to-point hiking trail is rated moderate in skill level.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery”
Reviewed 26 November 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I hiked this trail in mid-May and it was great. The trees and grass were vibrant green and there were pretty wildflowers along the trail. The trail itself is only 1.5 miles roundtrip so it is perfect for families with children. The end of the trail leads you to an overlook of lake michigan, south bar lake, and south manitou island in the distance. I can't wait to walk it again!

Thank Lyndsay09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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164 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Empire, Michigan
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Best hike in the park”
Reviewed 25 November 2013

This is one of the most "bang for your buck" trails in the entire park. It is only 1.5 miles long (that is for the total round trip), but you get beautiful woods, sand dunes, and a stunning vista looking out over Lake Michigan at the top of the trail. There are some hills, but they are short and the park has put steps in them to make the hill easier. Not great for strollers or wheelchairs, but everything else works. I hiked it when I was 8.5 months pregnant. No chance of getting lost and gorgeous scenery.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank Cynthia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario's Highlands, Canada
Level Contributor
206 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Beautiful Bluffs”
Reviewed 23 October 2013

What a wonderful surprise to hike this trail as part of SBD. It had some steep parts, but all well maintained and the boardwalk had amazing views. It was a blustery day & it was not busy. There was no trail map, but we enjoyed the fall colours and the peaceful walk.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Susan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grandville, MI
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Delightful hike to a scenic panorama”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Situated very close to downtown Empire, the Bluff Trail is a nice 45-60 minute activity for most anyone. The trails are nicely maintained, though there is a small amount of elevation and gentle terrain, so wheelchairs and strollers would not be suitable. Hike through the woods for 15 minutes or so to emerge into a breathtaking panorama of pristine blue Lake Michigan waters and the reverence of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Off in the distance you will also see Manitou. This hike was a great addition to our Northern Michigan getaway.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
863 reviews
579 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 825 helpful votes
“Good Hike with a Variety of Scenery”
Reviewed 15 October 2013

After parking in the lot, we picked up a trail map from the box at the trailhead. The one page brochure gives interesting information about places and things along the trail. Be sure to return the paper to the box for the next hiker's benefit.

This trail has a variety of scenery. We walked through the forest, checked out the sights of earlier times (farms and orchards), tried to determine what elusive animal was also walking in the area, and climbed a good set of steps up a fairly steep hill. Finally, we reached the boardwalk that has been put in place to protect both bluff and man. The view was beautiful! We enjoyed some quiet moments alone before being joined by other hikers. Be sure to take a camera -- definitely a good photo opportunity!

We selected hikes based on trail info on the NPS website for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I highly recommend the website (when it's available) for planning details of the trip.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank RetiredTravelerTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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