Located within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at the mouth of the Platte River, Platte Point is an excellent spot for observing waterfowl. The prime months for observing migrating ducks are April, October and November, but huge concentrations of waterfowl are often found here throughout the winter. In the summer the beach serves as a nesting area for the endangered Piping Plover and thus is designated by National Audubon Society’s as an Important Bird Area (IBA). From April to August there will be rope fencing to protect the piping plover nesting area. Walking along the beach outside the rope fence is allowed. The river edges are also good places to bird.
This is the best place in the park to find shorebirds. During the summer look for piping plovers, spotted sandpipers, killdeer and also Caspian terns. During migration greater and lesser yellowlegs, sanderlings, least and semipalmated sandpipers, dunlins, ruddy turnstones, semipalmated plovers and other shorebirds can be found. Lucky birders might find a whimbrel, willet, Baird’s sandpiper or other unusual species.
Directions: From Frankfort, MI, travel north on M-22 for approximately 12 miles. Turn left on Lake Michigan Road and follow it to the end. From Empire, MI, travel south on M-22 for approximately 10 miles and turn right on Lake Michigan Road. The best birding is across the river. Cross the firm, sand bottomed river behind the restrooms (the water will be 2-2 ½ feet deep) and follow the path over the dune to the shore.