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.
Reptiles can be found throughout the Lakeshore in all of the different habitat types. Of the 18 species of reptiles known to occur, only 6 or 7 may be found on the islands. The islands are difficult for these species to get to and historically the numbers were probably about the same. Midland painted turtles, common garter snakes, and northern ring-necked snakes are the 3 species which are most likely to be found on either island. Common snapping turtles, eastern hog-nosed snakes, Dekay’s brown snakes, and northern ribbon snakes have also been found found during field work studies. Other reptiles found within the Lakeshore include the wood turtle, Blanding's turtle, eastern box turtle, spotted turtle, five-lined skink, midland brown snake, eastern smooth green snake, eastern milk snake, northern red-belly snake, northern water snake, and blue racer (snake). None of these species are poisonous and are typically harmless unless handled by an over-curious youngster. The Lakeshore is included within the potential habitat area of the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, but they have not been verified as living within the Lakeshore. Please do not capture or handle any of these species as they are all threatened by habitat changes, road mortality, and people wanting a cute pet (especially the turtles).
Did You Know?
You will find a wide variety of camping and backpacking options at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - from electrical hook-ups and modern bathrooms to wilderness backpacking. More...