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.
Search the extensive Wildflowers of Sleeping Bear Dunes database on the web site of the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes
It is a pleasure to go through the seasons with the wildflowers in the park. The earliest blooms in the woodlands include carpets of spring beauty, followed by bouquets of hepatica with samples of bloodroot, and then the yellow of trout lily. One of the earliest in the pine/oak forest is the fragrant trailing arbutus, recumbent and protected from cold with thick, hairy leaves.
Kerry Kelly 2006
Wetter sites produce the yellow cowslip or marsh marigold. In many places in the park, the forest floor is white with trillium. The green and brown flowers of the Jack-in-the-pulpit blend well with the shaded green of the beech /maple forest. Later in June the dunes are spotted in surprising colors of bright blue harebell, orange dune lily, yellow puccoon and false heather, purple beach pea, and rosy pink of wind anemone.
Kerry Kelly 2005
By midsummer the fields will have yellow St. Johnswort, purple cow vetch and milkweed, white pearly everlasting, and orange butterfly milkweed. In the fall, there will be purple asters and yellow goldenrod. By October and into November, in the oak and pine we see the flowering shrub witch Hazel. These yellow blossoms may be seen with snow on them. Lists of flowering plants can be obtained at the visitor center.
Jocelyn Trepte 2006
Some wildflowers, like this Pitcher's thistle are endangered species and found only in the dunes surrounding the Great Lakes.
Did You Know?
The Pitcher's thistle is an endangered plant species that is native to the dunes around the Great Lakes. You will find many of them as you hike through the dunes or along the Lake Michigan shores at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. More...