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.
Families United with Nature (FUN) Snowshoe Safari
Contact: Jennifer Wurts, 231-326-5134
Bring your family to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to explore winter’s wild side on snowshoes on January 31 at 2:00 p.m.! This event is open to all families and is part of the park’s new outdoor activity club, Families United with Nature (FUN). Participants can borrow free snowshoes from the park and join a Park Ranger in searching for wildlife tracks, playing snowshoe games, and enjoying tasty trail treats. The program will start at the Visitor Center in Empire on M-72 at 2:00 p.m., car caravan to the trailhead for the hike, and finish by 3:30 p.m. Dress for the weather - layers and waterproof boots are recommended. To borrow a pair of snowshoes for the program, please contact Jennifer Wurts by January 27 to make your reservation at 231-326-5135, ext. 330, or by email at e-mail us. If you have your own snowshoes, no reservations are needed.
FUN is an outdoor activity club for families that was started as a joint effort of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and a local Girl Scout, Bonnie Ricord, for her Gold Award project. The club provides a fantastic opportunity for families to get outdoors together and try their hand at something new, breathe a little fresh air, and meet other families who enjoy being outside. FUN activities will be held frequently throughout the year and may include orienteering, hiking, stargazing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities that members would like to try.
Families can join the group by filling out a free membership form and bringing it to any FUN event. Members will receive free journals to document their outdoor activities and have the opportunity to earn rewards as a family for these experiences. Joining FUN is free; however, a Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park Entrance Pass will be required for activities taking place within the park. An Annual Park Entrance Pass is $20 and can be purchased at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire. Scholarships are available.
For more information, please call the National Lakeshore 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...