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.
A number of studies have been conducted to locate and identify the lichens found within the Lakeshore. Since 1985, researchers have found 195 species which is believed to be over 90% of the lichens present. This amount of lichen flora is good for an area comprised of mostly hardwood forests and dry sand dunes. The bogs and wetland areas were host to several of the northern lichens. Trees along the forest edge, around the farmsteads, and in the abandoned orchards produced many lichens.
The woodlands on stabilized dunes near the Lake Michigan shoreline produced many lichens on both the trees and on the ground as the various lichen species took advantage of the moist, marine environment. Interest in studying lichens as an indicator of air quality and atmospheric pollutants may lead to future research studies within the Lakeshore.
Did You Know?
North Manitou Island, part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, is located in the pristine waters of Lake Michigan about 8 miles off the Northwest part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. It's 15,000 acres, managed as wilderness is Backpacking Heaven! More...