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.
Although additional research is needed to fully understand the role that fire historically played in the development of the Lakeshore forests, evidence suggests it was not uncommon prior to the settlement of the area. Small, localized burns from Native American burning or lightening strikes during storms may have occurred sporadically, especially in the jack pine and oak stands along the dune edges. Prescribed fires (started and controlled by trained crews) can be a useful tool for maintaining the open field habitats in the historic farmland areas. Lakeshore staff have prepared a detailed document called a Fire Management Plan which defines the actions that will be taken should a wildfire occur and also those specific instances when fire may be used as a management tool. This plan is available under the Management Documents section of the this website.
Did You Know?
During the winter of 1870-71, 214 people lost their lives in shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, and congress established the US Life-Saving Service to conduct rescues from shore. This became the US Coast Guard in 1915. Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes to see how these men lived and worked. More...