Call ahead to inquire about bike rental if you don't have bikes.
Recommended time of the year
In Autumn, the colors offer a beautiful backdrop for the bike tour.
You can save some money by bringing your own bikes.
About This Day
This itinerary for the Sleeping Bear Dunes with kids offers wonderful, family-friendly adventures. It is the perfect location for a day trip from Traverse City or Glen Arbor. Start the day by renting bikes at The Cyclery in Glen Arbor. It offers bikes and trailers for kids. From there, hop onto the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and bike 4 miles (6.4 km) to the Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Park your bikes and climb the dunes for exquisite panoramas of the national park. After you've biked back to Glen Arbor, make a stop at Cherry Republic for a well-earned, authentic Northern Michigan dinner and dessert.
This is a paved trail that winds through the forest and leads to the Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. The trail is mostly flat and not very strenuous. The Fall is especially beautiful during peak color time.
DIRECTIONS From The Cyclery, head west on West Western Avenue, then turn left onto South Forest Haven Drive (a little past the intersection of State Route 22). Follow South Forest Haven Drive until you reach the trailhead (trail will be marked).
TIP Bring snacks and water for the trail as well as bug repellent and sunscreen.
Climb up the dunes to take in the great views and then enjoy the exhilarating run down. The beauty of the dunes and thrill of careening down them reinvigorates even the weariest of travelers. Our nuggets chose to trek up and run down multiple times. Besides the gorgeous panorama of the area, the sand also feels great on your feet. If you're there between Memorial Day and Labor Day, visit the gift store for a treat or souvenir.
DIRECTIONS Approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) after getting on the trail in Glen Arbor, you'll arrive at the dune climb.
TIP Bring bike locks or have a designated person to watch the bikes. The dune climb can be strenuous. Use caution when venturing out too far at the top of the dunes because distances can be deceiving. There is a picnic area and also enough space to spread a blanket out on the grass to enjoy a snack.
After a long day of biking and dune climbing, a visit to Cherry Republic is a must. Enjoy a delicious meal (with of course many cherry flavored menu items) topped off by dessert, e.g. cherry pie, cherry float or cherry ice cream. The restaurant has a pretty little garden area to sit in and lots of fun things for the kids to do. There is a a little playground and also a place to have a cherry pit spitting contest. Additionally, you can find many Northern Michigan and cherry-related goodies at the well-stocked store on site. The combination of casual atmosphere and delicious food at Cherry Republic is delightful.
DIRECTIONS After you exit the trail, turn left onto South Forest Haven Drive then right on West Western Avenue, from there turn right onto South Lake Street and the restaurant will be on your right.