Roadtrip USA (Mittlerer Westen): Sleeping Bear Dunes bei Traverse City

In the second part of our road trip through the Middle West of the USA, we drove further to the North of Michigan. Our goal for the day, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, which are located in the vicinity of the “Cherry Capital”, Traverse City. This place has a special meaning for me. You can read more in our blog post.

Our day started with a simple Breakfast at the Hampton Inn Cadillac (book Hilton*). A little later than originally planned, we left around 10 am in the Hotel and went to the M-115 in the direction of the North. After about an hour we reached the tranquil town of Frankfort, and thus our first stage target, the Point Betsie lighthouse.

On the road with our Dodge Charger

On the road with our Dodge Charger

Willkommen in Frankfort!

Willkommen in Frankfort!

Point Betsie Leuchtturm

The lighthouse at Point Betsie, was built in 1858, was for many years one of the most important signalling equipment on the Great lakes. Unfortunately, just maintenance work, so that we were not allowed to enter the grounds. Instead, we made with our son on a trip to the beach before we drove on.

Point Betsie Leuchtturm

Point Betsie Leuchtturm

Ausflug zum Strand am Lake Michigan

Ausflug zum Strand am Lake Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Unser eigentliches Ziel für den Tag waren die Sleeping Bear Dunes. Dies ist ein 288 km² großes Naturschutzgebiet am Ostufer des Lake Michigan im US-Bundesstaat Michigan.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

We stopped at the Philip A. Hart visitor center in the Village of Empire and bought an admission pass. This cost 20 USD, and was for the entire vehicle, including the occupants for seven days. In addition to a Ticket, which we had to be behind the windshield in place, we still got a map with Hiking recommendations and a brochure handed out. To learn more the Sleeping Bear Dunes also online.

Philip A. Hart Visitor Center

Philip A. Hart Visitor Center

Sleeping Bear Dunes: Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

We had decided, first of all, the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive exit. This 7.5 miles (about 12 km) long one-way street which runs along the coast, and there along the Route, some Parking spaces with picnic facilities. Our first Stop was the “Dune Overlook”. As the Name suggests, we had a great view over the dunes landscape.

Dune Overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Dune Overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

After a long lunch break, we went on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive up to the 10. Stop. At this Stop, we Packed up the Buggy and went with our son on the concrete path up to the steep coast of Michigan. The sight of the deep blue water that stretches to the horizon, was simply beautiful. You completely forget that Lake Michigan is not a sea, but a landlocked body of water.

Dunes hike along the steep coast of Michigan

Dunes hike along the steep coast of Michigan

tiefblaues Wassers des Michigansee

tiefblaues Wassers des Michigansee

Sleeping Bear Dunes: Dune Climb

The Highlight for our son, the so-called “Dune Climb” was. The approximately 130-m-high sand dune was so impressive that we had to climb up to. Our two-year-old son up rushed almost without a break. To race about half way we took a short break and decided to connect back down to run, right to the balls. A great family fun!

Sleeping Bear Dunes: Dune Climb

Sleeping Bear Dunes: Dune Climb

Blick von der Düne

Blick von der Düne

Family fun in the Sleeping Bear Dunes

Family fun in the Sleeping Bear Dunes

After we had freed us all from the Sand, we climbed in our black Dodge Charger and drove to Traverse City. This city has for me a special significance, because here the Chapter on United States began for me in 2006.

Camp Maplehurst

As I had just finished my military service in the army, I worked in 2006 for the first time as a tutor in the summer camp “Camp Maplehurst” North of Traverse City. I spent the entire summer in Michigan and learned here are not only good friends, but also discovered my “love” for the USA as a Travel destination.

Hampton Inn Traverse City

Hampton Inn Traverse City

After we had checked in to our Hotel, a Hampton Inn on the main street of Traverse City, for the next two Next was the Camp our first goal. Unfortunately, the plant in 2011, was closed, so we found the existing building is in a very bad state. In addition, the main access road with a gate is blocked and to Enter with multiple signs are prohibited.

The main access to the Camp Maplehurst

The main access to the Camp Maplehurst

We found a side street, where there is no prohibition sign booth and the barrier was opened. So we followed the sandy road and after several curves on the former Camp grounds. Here was us also clearly, why the access was opened: it ran just demolition work. The former stage, on which we had previously organised with the children's various Shows, has just been razed to the ground. The former accommodation for the girls, as well as the huts for the young were demolished some time ago. The badly-damaged main house was specially fenced. Overall, it is a sad sight!

A view of the main building in the year 2018

A view of the main building in the year 2018

A view of the main building in 2006

A view of the main building in 2006

The main building, Camp Maplehurst, in the year 2018

The main building, Camp Maplehurst, in the year 2018

The main building, Camp Maplehurst, in the year 2006

The main building, Camp Maplehurst, in the year 2006

Abendessen bei Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen

For dinner, we drove into the town of Elk Rapids and ate at “Pearl's New Orleans Kitchen” dinner. In the Restaurant we went to during our time in the Camp more often. The interior decor, a little kitschy, and colorful, was still the same as 12 years ago. We ate crawdad croquettes as an Appetizer and chicken or Beef Po’Boy (a kind of Sandwich) to the main course.

Pearl's New Orleans Kitchen

Pearl’s New Orleans Kitchen

Nach dem ausgiebigen Abendessen mussten wir uns wieder die Beine vertreten und gingen durch die charmante Stadt Elk Rapids. Hier ist die Welt noch in Ordnung.

Elk Rapids

Elk Rapids

Hauptstraße von Elk Rapids

Hauptstraße von Elk Rapids

Roadtrip USA (Mittlerer Westen) – Routendetails

Tagtotal
Km:165,7 mi (266,67 km)509,5 mi (819,96 km)
Time:04:20:3613:23:26
Consumption:30,0 mpg29,4 mpg
Travel costs:42,03 USD
Overnight:Hampton Inn Traverse City – 200 USD for two Next (bookable at Hilton*)

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Evaluation of the road trip from Cadillac to Traverse City
  • Point Betsie Leuchtturm
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes
  • Travere City
3.8

Christian

My name is Christian and I was born in the green heart of Germany and studied computer engineering in Ilmenau, Thuringia. Since 2012 I live with my wife Christin in Halle (Saale). When travelling I love flying, discovering good food and drink and spending the night in great hotels. I am a travel enthusiast and always looking for the next adventure. I have been reporting about my experiences on the road since 2007.

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