Lake Michigan Overlooks Environmental Assessment

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) that provides an array of alternatives for addressing issues at Lake Michigan Overlooks 9 and 10 on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a 7.4 mile self-guided auto tour that provides visitors insight into the history of the area, a sample of vegetative communities, and overlooks of Glen Lake, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, North and South Manitou Islands, and Lake Michigan. This highly-visited site attracts over 200,000 people each year to overlooks that afford spectacular views. It is the only location in the National Lakeshore where visitors can access these views by a short walk from their vehicles.

The perched dune at this location is roughly 450 feet above Lake Michigan. The path from the parking area to the overlooks takes visitors directly across the top of the perched dune, and despite signs discouraging visitors from descending on the bluff face toward Lake Michigan, many do so. Some of these visitors are injured during the descent, due to missteps or falls, or during the ascent, from heat injuries or exhaustion. The intense foot traffic in this location has caused considerable erosion of the dune face. Finally, maintaining the current configuration of the path and overlooks is difficult and expensive because of the blowing and shifting sand.

Comment Period: Closed        Jun 1, 2009 - Jul 6, 2009
Document Content:
Lake Michigan Overlooks EA   (2.4 MB, PDF file)
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