Free Park Ranger-Led Programs for End-of-Summer Fun
Contact: Jennifer Wurts, 231-326-5134
Are you looking for a fun way to enjoy the last few weeks of summer vacation? How about spending it learning about shipwrecks, beavers, native plants, or early farm life? Or perhaps going on a bike tour, guided hike, or Park Ranger-led campground program on stargazing? National Park Service Park Rangers will continue to offer a variety of interpretive programs throughout the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from August 2 to September 7, 2009. Every day, visitors to the National Lakeshore will have several options.
On the schedule is 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 will be two programs from which to choose - one at the Platte River Campground Amphitheater and one at the D. H. Day Campground Amphitheater. Park Rangers will engage you with handpicked talks from their grab bag of surprise stories about the Lakeshore’s natural and cultural history. You do not have to be staying at the campground to attend the evening programs. Programs start at 7:30 p.m beginning August 2.
There will also be late morning hikes with a Park Ranger to see first-hand the Lakeshore’s natural and historic features. These small groups 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 through Labor Day. Enjoy riding the back roads of the Port Oneida Rural Historic District while learning about the landscape features that make this district significant. Other bike tours will explore the back roads south of Empire while discovering the history and habitats of this area. There you will bike through a sugar bush, past a town that vanished, and along a creek with beaver lodges.
Please note that on Friday, August 7, and Saturday, August 8, the park will be hosting a special event - the Port Oneida Fair in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. On these days, the regularly scheduled Park Ranger-led programs will not be held and special activities, demonstrations, and programs will be offered at the fair instead.
Interpretive programs are free and suitable for all ages. No reservations are needed, and participants need only purchase the park entrance pass to join in the fun ($10 a vehicle valid for seven days or $20 a vehicle for an entire year). For more information about the schedule or other Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134.
Did You Know?
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...