October 31, 2012
Superintendent Dusty Shultz is pleased to announce that Veterans Day Weekend, November 10-12, 2012, will be celebrated as a fee-free weekend for all park visitors to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) in honor of U.S. veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Many of the popular attractions at the National Lakeshore remain open during this time of year, including the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily); the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive (open 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily through Wednesday, November 14); the Dune Climb; and a hundred miles of hiking trails. The Glen Haven Blacksmith Shop, General Store, Cannery Boat Museum, and Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum are closed for the season and will re-open in May 2013. Come and enjoy your park during the Veterans Day Weekend or any day! The National Lakeshore is open year-round. The Philip A. Hart Visitor Center is open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's days.
The Departments of the Interior and Agriculture began this annual fee waiver six years ago on Veterans Day. The fee waiver applies to entrance and/or standard amenity fees at public recreation lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Forest Service across the country. The fee waiver does not apply to camping fees at the National Lakeshore.
Active duty members of the U.S. military and their dependents can also pick up a free Military Pass, which provides free entry to all 398 national parks for one year. Active duty members of the U.S. military must show a current, valid military identification card (CAC card), and dependents of active duty military must show a current, valid dependent identification card (DD Form 1173) to obtain their pass. More information is available at www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm.