Empire Bluff Hiking and Ski Trails

This 1.5 mile (2.4 km) walk to the scenic overlook has many interesting places to stop along the way. The Old Farm has tractors from the 1940’s. In the Beech-Maple forest the plant life that grows must be able to tolerate shade cast by the canopy. This is considered a climax-forest, which means it will persist indefinitely unless destroyed by natural disaster or by humans. At the Old Orchard you can see where loggers planted over logged areas.

Finally you come to the Empire Bluff Overlook. At 400 feet (122 meters) above Lake Michigan, it offers stunning & extensive views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Manitou Islands. Sadly, the iconic tree in the photo below was destroyed by vandals.

Empire Bluffs View

Photo: Empire Bluffs – Empire, Michigan by williger

Information provided in part by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Empire Bluff Trail