Guest Post: Winter exploration awaits at Sleeping Bear Resort

Author's note: As we cocoon ourselves indoors during the winter months, I'll be sharing more posts about travel destinations that can help us endure the season and stave off Cabin Fever. Enjoy this guest post from Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan.

LAKE ANN — No matter the season or the reason, Sleeping Bear Resort in Lake Ann welcomes visitors to explore the natural wonders that exist around Herendeene Lake. The Resort consists of six cabins a five bedroom log home and a six bedroom remodeled farm home.  Sleeping Bear Resort can accommodate as many as 60 guests for a weekend, or longer.  The resort is located 15 miles from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and 15 miles from Traverse City.

Resort Facilities
The Lodge (five bedrooms and two bathrooms, accommodating  12 individuals) and The Bear’s Den (six bedrooms and three bathrooms, accommodating 18 individuals) each offer entertainment rooms with a ping pong table, foosball table, pool table and large flat screen TV for hours of family fun. The six individual one- and two-bedroom cabins each sleep five.

Every unit at Sleeping Bear Resort includes a fully-equipped kitchen, with stove, refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, as well as cooking utensils. Linens and towels are also provided. The entire resort offers wireless internet access, grills and a central fire pit, for warming up after a day of playing.

Nearby Activities
With its 450 feet of lake frontage on the 40-acre Herendeene Lake, Sleeping Bear Resort is more than a summer vacation destination. In the winter months, the iced-over lake welcomes fisherman to drop a line in search of panfish and largemouth bass.

Countless opportunities exist for hiking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing just miles from the resort. Guided snowshoe hikes with a National Park ranger are offered on Saturdays and during winter holidays, starting at 1pm at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire. Self-guided snowshoeing is also permitted on all snow-covered dunes, fields and forests in the Lakeshore. A popular trek is the Empire Bluffs trail, which offers exceptional views of Lake Michigan, the towering snow-covered dunes and the Manitou Islands in the distance.

The resort is located within 20 miles of six different cross country ski trail networks with miles and miles of trail offerings. The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is groomed for cross country skiing, with access at the Dune Climb, Glen Haven village and on Forest Haven Road in Glen Arbor. The famed Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive also welcomes Nordic skiers. Countless other non groomed trails can be found throughout Benzie and Leelanau counties.

Downhill skiers and snowboarders can head 21 miles south to Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville for access to 45 slopes. Hiking, mountain biking and snowshoeing in the Michigan Legacy Park or cross country skiing along 40km of groomed trails is also available. A full-service spa is also available, allowing for a bit of pampering after a day out in the snow.

To the north, skiers will find The Homestead – America’s Freshwater Resort, located in Glen Arbor.  Two surface lifts, three chair lifts, 15 unique runs and a terrain park are set overlooking the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan. Cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and an intimate spa facility are also offered.

Discounted skiing vouchers to both Crystal Mountain and The Homestead are available to Sleeping Bear Resort guests.

Those seeking speed can access more than 135 miles of Benzie County’s groomed snowmobile trails, accessible from Sleeping Bear Resort. Staging areas can be found at the Platte River Association Hall, east of Honor; in the village of Thompsonville; and at the downtown Beulah Trailhead & Visitors Center. A trail map for the area – including Leelanau County – can be found here. Please note, snowmobiling is not permitted on the lands or waters of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Additional activities, such as wine tastings, local restaurants, cultural venues and shopping, can be found on the Sleeping Bear Resort website.