Trail and Stairway

Family walking along outdoor stairway at Gillette Visitor Center

Visitors are encouraged to venture outdoors to experience first-hand the park's beautiful scenery. Within easy access from the visitor center, the half-mile Lake Michigan Trail goes up and over the park's sheltered backdune forest and leads visitors out into a grassy foredune with a sweeping view of the beach and Lake Michigan below.

The first portion of this trail, known as the Sandy McBeath Trail, is universally accessible, thus allowing all visitors to experience the solitude of the sheltered backdune, and giving them an opportunity see the spring and summer wildflowers and hear the diversity of singing birds.

At the end of the McBeath Trail, stairs and a short path lead to the popular Dune Climb Stairway. This 193-step structure, perched on top of one of the park's largest parabolic dunes, has lower and upper observation decks to give visitors a sweeping view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding sand dunes.