• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

May "Saturdays at the Lakeshore"

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Date: April 26, 2009
Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134

Rangers Offer Five Different Free Programs

Would you like to visit a beaver pond, listen for frogs, smell spring wildflowers, search for morels, or identify migrating birds? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is the place to do all that and more. Spring is an excellent time to get outdoors and National Park Rangers are looking forward to sharing some of their favorite places in the Lakeshore with you during five “Saturdays at the Lakeshore” in May.

Every Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., a Park Ranger will await you at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center (VC) in Empire on M-72 to introduce a topic and then lead a car caravan a short distance to where the walk will begin. Each week, a different topic and location in the park will be featured. All are welcome.

  • May 2 - Mushrooms for Beginners: Learn how to tell a real morel from a false morel and how to identify several easy spring mushrooms. The ranger will also explain the life of a mushroom and provide some tips on where to find your favorite variety.

  • May 9 - The World of Frogs: What would spring be without the sound of frogs? They are disappearing all around the world. Why are they still singing and what might they be trying to tell us? Learn to identify several local varieties by sight and sound. This is a great outdoor adventure for the whole family.

  • May 16 – Leave it to Beaver: Look for one of the few animals that dramatically engineer their environment and have played a major role in this region’s history. See a dam, lodge, canals, and tunnels while learning more about beavers and their logging operations.

  • May 23 - A Flurry of Wild Flowers: Each spring, we are impressed with the abundance of wildflowers our hardwood forests offer! Join a ranger to discover and marvel at this annual display of native plants as you hike through one of the best wildflower habitats in the region.

  • May 30 - Returning Birds: Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day by joining a ranger to welcome back several species of migratory birds. Learn about the birds’ winter adventures in far-off lands and the distances they travel to get here. This is a great opportunity for beginning birders. Binoculars provided.

All ranger-led programs are free. Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass already to join in the fun. Reservations are not required, but are suggested if you wish to bring a group. For more information please call 231-326-5134, ext. 328.

Did You Know?

Deer Hunt

You can hunt for deer in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. In fact there are special hunts on North Manitou Island to help manage the size of the deer herd on the island. More...