Head to one of our favorite trails in Empire to discover native Northern Michigan wildflowers like you’ve never seen before. Plus six more nearby trails to check out this spring on your ultimate wildflower hunt.

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Head to Empire Bluff Trail

As our forest floor gradually thaws, it only takes a moment—a kiss of warmth and a few extra rays of sun—for it to bloom into the most sumptuous scavenger hunt. Blink and you’ll miss it. Flecks of purple peek from beneath tattered leaves. Delicate cream-colored petals unfurl from the greenery. Blushing blossoms pop up in clusters.

While May is known as prime wildflower season, April has its gifts, too, if you know when and where to look. Some of the first ephemeral flowers to bloom along the forested Empire Bluff Trail are bloodroot, trillium and the whimsical Dutchman’s breeches. Below the 45th parallel, these flowers typically pop up starting mid to late April, before the trees don their leaves.

A Field of Dutchman's Breeches

Photo by Heather Higham

Find these Wildflowers on Your Spring Hike

From Trillium to Squirrel Corn, here’s a look at what’s waiting for you on the forest floor.

How to Get to Empire Bluffs

Empire Bluff Trail | Address: Empire Bluff Trail, Honor, MI 49640, learn more on the NPS website.

Empire Bluffs Map

Photo by National Park Service

6 More Nearby Trails to Explore

These additional six trails are great spots to find local wildflowers all spring long and most are a short drive from Empire Bluffs to help your wildflower hunt a full-day adventure.

  1. Alligator Hill, several loops, 9 miles of trail
  2. Dune Climb Trail, 3.5 miles roundtrip
  3. Old Indian Trails, 2 loops, each about 2.5 miles long
  4. Sleeping Bear Point Trail, 2.8-mile loop
  5. Treat Farm Trail, 0.5-mile trail to Treat Farm
  6. Windy Moraine Trail, 1.5-mile loop
Trillium close-up

Photo by Allison Acosta

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell