The Platte Plains Trail consists of three loops totaling 14.7 miles of mostly flat terrain through pine plantations, open fields, and, near Lake Michigan, some low beach dunes. There are some short, steep hills on the Lasso Loop that leads to the White Pine Backcountry Campground. Two trailheads are available. To access the Otter Creek trailhead, take M-22 to Esch Road, located four miles south of Empire, turn west and proceed almost to Lake Michigan. Park on the wide shoulder and walk south on the unpaved road to the trailhead. This also provides access to the Otter Creek Loop. To access the Trail's End trailhead, drive to the end of Trail's End Road off M-22, located six miles south of Empire. This also provides access to the Otter Creek Loop and the Bass Lake Loop. The National Lakeshore charges a visitor fee of $20 per vehicle for a seven day pass or $40 for an annual pass. Mountain bikes are not allowed on any of the National Park trails. Pets must be kept on a six-foot maximum leash.
Stop by the Traverse City Tourism Visitor Center for a printed map or download a map from Michigan Trails Maps for a small fee.