Ice Caves No Longer Safe
The ice formations in Leelanau Township, north of the park, are no longer safe to visit. High winds have fractured the ice, moving it to the west. Huge cracks have formed in the cave arches, making them very unsafe and open water is now visible.
With the creation of the Lakeshore in 1970, a large number of private in-holdings were acquired or scheduled for acquisition over the ensuing 40 years. As the in-holdings have been acquired, a steady and very successful effort has been undertaken to restore the former homesites to natural conditions and to completely remove the human impacts from the land. This effort has allowed for large, contiguous areas of wildlife habitat to be restored, for the shorelines of entire inland lakes to be protected, and for former dump sites and agricultural areas to be returned to a healthy northern hardwood forest overstory. All man-made items are removed from each homesite including the home and foundation, the out-buildings, and the septic systems and wells. Typically the areas are also landscaped back to the original contours which results in a natural appearing site with restored hydrology. The imported clays and gravels used in the access roads are removed so that native tree seedlings can become established in the sandy soils. As the area around the Lakeshore continues to be developed and sub-divided, the importance of protecting the large blocks of habitat within becomes even more important.
Did You Know?
The Port Oneida Rural Historical District is a 3000 acre farming area preserved as it was in the early 1900's. This area was farmed for over 100 years and is now part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore More...