Whenever near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, you must check out the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. The 7.5-mile drive is one of the most impressive in the country, going through sand dunes and Beech-Maple forests.
The loop will take you among the vegetative communities within the park, offering spectacular vistas of Lake Michigan, Glen Lake, and Sleeping Bear Dunes. The drive has picnic areas where you can enjoy a lunch with your family, and also stop on the way and go for a hike along the Cottonwood Trail. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a road with world-class views that will help you see Michigan as you've never imagined. It definitely deserves to be a part of the national park network, which is widely considered by the authorities.
The drive got its name from Pierce Stockman who was a lumberman working in the forests of Michigan and spending all his free time to expand his knowledge about Nature. As a wilderness enthusiast, Stockman was hiking the steep hills around Lake Michigan, and at one point started building wooden trails, making the area more accessible for visitors.
The first idea about the drive was born in 1960, and seven years later the road was open to the public. Until his death in 1976, Pierce Stocking was working on the scenic drive, which after he dies was turned into a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. After a local vote, the drive got his name, and it is still the most picturesque place on the Lakeshore that people cherish.
The best spot on the scenic drive is the Lake Michigan Overlook from where you can see mind-blowing sunsets, and even bring a chair if planning to stay longer. If not, you can just sit in the sand and absorb the natural beauty displayed in front of you.
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