Winter on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is special. Light fluffy snow covering the trees and trail make it ideal for photography, skiing, or snowshoeing through a secluded winter wonderland! Most of the trail is groomed in the winter with a corduroy base for skate skiing, snowshoeing, and classic tracks on the outside for classic cross-country skiing.
January 27, 2023 – Fresh Snow
We did get some snow yesterday, but only 1-3″ depending on the location in the park. More snow predicted this afternoon. The groomer will be out today (Glen Arbor to Empire) and tomorrow (North of Glen Arbor and Palmer Woods).
Glen Arbor to Dune Climb – only about 1-2″. We ran the roller but there wasn’t enough snow to put down classic tracks.
Dune Climb to Empire – only about 2-3″. We ran the roller but did not set classic tracks. The tracks were scraping the ground.
Glen Arbor to Wheeler Road – Grooming tomorrow. Not sure if there will be enough snow to set tracks. Stay tuned…
Palmer Woods – Grooming tomorrow. Plenty of snow to groom and set tracks.
Dune Climb Sledding:
The Dune Climb looks great for sledding this weekend.
Backcountry ski and hiking trails (Old Indian, Platte Plains, Windy Moraine, Bay View, Good Harbor, Alligator Hill)
Fresh snow everywhere – about 2-3″ There is more at higher elevations, so Palmer Woods has about 6″ and lower elevations like Platte Plains has only about 2-3″.
Popular Hiking Trails (Empire Bluffs, Pyramid Point):
These busy trails will have packed snow and icy conditions after people get out hiking. Micro-spikes or Yak Tracks or hiking poles are recommended if you are going to hike these trails.
The SBHT is groomed by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. This program is supported through donations from people like you!
We are an all-volunteer organization that partners with the National Park to help maintain and heighten visitor experiences to the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.
Would you like to volunteer to help out on the trails? Sign-up on our Volunteer Page.
The trail from Glen Arbor to the Dune Climb (4 miles) is relatively flat with beautiful scenery. A loop trail through DH Day Campground and a loop just south of the Dune Climb have been added. You may have to remove your skis to cross M-109 and in Glen Haven.
The section from Empire to Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive (3 miles) is also beautiful, but has more challenging slopes. This section will be groomed with one set of classic tracks to allow for wide corduroy for skate skiing.
The trail north of Glen Arbor – from Crystal View trailhead to Port Oneida Road is open for skiing. This section will be groomed again this year. There is also trailhead parking on Thoreson Road at the Bay View trail parking lot.
The newest section of trail from Port Oneida Road to Bohemian Road (CR-669) is open for skiing but is not groomed. Some areas of this section are so close to the highway that snowplows throw sand and salt on the trail.
Trailhead parking is available on Forest Haven Road in Glen Arbor, Glen Haven, the Dune Climb, Pierce Stocking Drive, and the corner of Voice Rd and Bar Lake Rd on the north end of Empire. The section of trail north of Glen Arbor has trailhead parking at Crystal View Trailhead, the Bay View Trailhead on Thoreson Road, and on Port Oneida Road.
Note, Pets are not allowed on designated cross-country ski trails from December 1 – March 31. See Park Pet Page for more information.
Etiquette for Fat-Tire Bikes on the SBHT