Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive will not open until Memorial Day Weekend
Changes to visitor service due to Sequestration. Due to mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts, some visitor services in this park have changed. Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive will not open until Memorial Day Weekend and will close after Labor Day. More »
Some restrooms and trash cans not available until Memorial Day
Changes to visitor service due to Sequestration. Other than those at the visitor center and campgrounds, restrooms and trash cans will not be available until Memorial Day Weekend and will close after Labor Day. This includes the Manitou Islands. More »
Kerry Kelly 2005
Coming to the park this spring with a class? Here are our visitor center exhibition scavenger hunts:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is an outstanding natural classroom that provides educational opportunities to many schools and institutions each year. We hope you will use the resources here to plan a trip to the park or to share the information about this beautiful area of Michigan with your students in the classroom.
Sleeping Bear Dunes was created to preserve the outstanding natural features of this area including 71,000 acres of dunes, beaches, forests, inland lakes and rivers, and glacial phenomena. It also preserves cultural resources that reflect Great Lakes maritime and Michigan agricultural history.
Education is a primary mission of the park. Our goal is to provide high quality programs and services which include self-guided and ranger-led activities. If your school group is planning to come to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, you may be eligible for an Education Fee Waiver. We have also included some guidance to help you Plan a Field Trip.
Sleeping Bear Dunes is an expansive classroom filled with learning opportunities. Here are a few examples to wet your appetite for a Field Trip...
View the 15 minute slide show that describes the legends and history of the area through beautiful photos that highlight beauty of the the seasons in the Lakeshore. Walk through the Natural Resource Exhibit while you are here.
Experience the drama of Lake Michigan waves crashing along the beach...
Feel the wind, see the different shades of aqua in Lake Michigan, and be amazed at the size of the bluffs as you look up the coast and spot South Manitou Island...
Imagine your ship going aground in the Manitou Passage and a Life-Saving Service crewman shooting the Lyle Gun to your ship to save you and other passengers...
Walk through the farmsteads of the past and listen for the voices of the farmers who tilled this soil...
Feel the crisp, clean air and the quiet of a snow-covered forest as you identify the animal tracks in the snow...
We hope you and your students unearth a vast array of new discoveries and find Sleeping Bear Dunes a perfect extended classroom. Explore this section of the web site to find resources to plan your field trip or find information that you can use in your classroom. Self-guided activities will give you ideas and resources that you can use to lead your class on a learning adventure any time. Ranger-guided activities must be pre-arranged with park staff. Our Rangers will share their in-depth knowledge with your students in a dynamic learning experience. It is sometimes difficult to schedule a Ranger during the busy times of the year, so plan ahead if you want to include one of these programs in your field trip.
Did You Know?
The lighthouse on South Manitou Island (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) was commissioned in 1872 and served Lake Michigan Shipping for over 100 years. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and climb its 117 step circular stairway to a great view of the Manitou Passage. More...