• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

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Free Summer Programs at Sleeping Bear Dunes

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Date: June 8, 2012

Would you like to know more about shipwrecks, wilderness, the dunes, or early farm life? Would you like to go on a bike tour, guided hike, or learn the latest information on stargazing and the night sky? Parkrangers are offering a variety of free interpretive programs throughout Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) this summer and inviting everyone to join them. Starting June 10, every day, visitors to the National Lakeshore will have several options.

The summer schedule will include the always-popular "Heroes of the Storm" program every day at 3:00 p.m. at the Maritime Museum in Glen Haven. Park rangers recruit the assistance of young audience members to serve as U.S. Life Saving Service surfmen to recreate a shipwreck rescue on land. They haul lines and use replicas of historic equipment in an effort to save Raggedy Ann and Andy from their sinking vessel.

Each evening, there are two programs from which to choose - one at the south end of the park at the Platte River Campground Amphitheater and one in the north end of the park at the D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater. Park rangers will intrigue you with facts about wilderness, tell shipwreck stories, identify constellations of the night sky, and talk about what makes Sleeping Bear Dunes unique. You do not have to be staying at the campground to attend the evening programs. Starting time is at 8:00 p.m.

There will also be late morning and afternoon hikes with park rangers to see first-hand the National Lakeshore's natural and historic features. These hikes provide an excellent opportunity to enjoy the park while learning about its resources from a knowledgeable guide.

Park ranger-guided bicycle tours will also continue this year. Enjoy riding the backroads south of Empire while learning about the invasive species that impact this special landscape. Starting on June 21, the first ever park ranger-led bike programs begin on the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail from Glen Arbor to the Dune Climb.

"Dunes in Motion" are fast, fun, 15 minute programs at the Dune Climb. Find out how the 110-foot dune and all of its neighbors were created. Program time is 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. For a complete schedule of park ranger-led programs, check out their website at www.nps.gov/slbe.

Park ranger-led programs will be provided daily June 10 - September 3 at no charge and are suitable for all ages. Programs will not take place on August 10-11 because all staff will be at the Port Oneida Fair; a celebration of rural life, skills and crafts. Mark your calendars to attend the Fair, the park's largest special event of the summer!

To join the National Park Service rangers on any of these activities, meet at the designated locations in the program description. Make sure you have purchased a Park Entrance Pass and have it prominently displayed in your vehicle. Please call 231-326-5135, ext. 328, to make reservations (if you plan on bringing a group) or ask questions, or visit their website at www.nps.gov/slbe.

Did You Know?

Ferry to Islands

Sleeping Bear Dunes includes two large islands in Lake Michigan - North and South Manitou Islands. Take a day trip to South Manitou Island and explore the island village and lighthouse or take a motor tour of the farming district. If you go to North Manitou Island, plan to camp overnight! More...