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.
Saturday Snowshoe Hikes To Continue Into March
Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134
The popular Saturday afternoon snowshoe hikes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will continue into March as long as snow conditions permit. March often provides some of the best snowshoeing conditions of the winter. Meet at the Lakeshore Visitor Center in Empire at 1:00 p.m. each Saturday. If you don’t have your own, snowshoes will be provided free. Later in the month, if snow conditions deteriorate, rangers will offer guided nature hikes to explore the changing of the seasons.
Inside the Visitor Center, rangers will first provide basic snowshoeing instructions, and then participants will travel by car to the trailhead or area pre-selected by the ranger. By exploring the site, the ranger will encourage participants to learn about winter’s effect on the park’s unique features. Be prepared and plan to be outside until about 3:00 p.m. Dress in layers and wear waterproof boots to be most comfortable.
Not only is snowshoeing easy, fun, and good exercise, it is also an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. The ranger-led hikes are mildly strenuous, yet they proceed at a leisurely pace for no more than one and a half miles. This allows visitors an opportunity for discovery, adventure, and to look for signs of wildlife or evidence of ancient glaciers. Some snowshoers simply want to experience and enjoy a winter wonderland, which is what you will find at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
The National Park Service has a supply of snowshoes for use within the Lakeshore. Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass to join in the fun. Reservations are not required but are suggested, especially if you wish to borrow snowshoes or are with a group. Please call 231-326-5134, extension 328, for details and to make reservations.
Did You Know?
Each year Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Park Partners sponsor the Port Oneida Fair the first weekend of August to celebrate the history and culture of rural America. Come and see what farm life was like around 1900 and learn about the arts and crafts of the time. More...