Scenic USA - Michigan

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

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Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, Michigan

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Surrounded by three of the Great Lakes, covered in huge patches of forests and thousands of inland streams and lakes, Michigan is a true vacation paradise. One of the highlights on the Lower Peninsula is the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore. Although surrounded by a dense beech-maple forest, Sleeping Bear Dunes - Leelanlau, Michigan towering dunes create one of the state's most unusual coastal settings. Ghost forests here are reminders of the area's restless dunes, created as the sands are pushed along by the wind.
     The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, a seven mile coastal route, introduces travelers to a most humbling view of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan. Located on the northwestern shore of Lake Michigan, the drive begins in a forest of sugar maples and American beech. Under this tree canopy at stop #1 you'll find this inviting covered bridge scene. The bridge was rescued from hungry porcupines, and now rebuilt, it's a landmark on this part of the one-way drive.
     Overlooks #3 through #6, #8 and #9 put on an impressive show with their panoramic views of immense sand dunes and blue waters of Lake Michigan. The overlook at stop #9 is perched high above the lake; in fact it's 450 feet above a sheer drop to the shore below. Although the massive dunes appear as they would last forever, wave action whittles away at the base, washing away a foot every year.

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