• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Park Rangers Offer Free Programs in October

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Date: September 25, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Wurts, 231-326-5134

Would you like to patrol the beach at night searching for shipwrecks?  Discover fall fungi, colors, and animal adaptations?  Hear tales of history, mystery, and murder in a lumbering ghost town?  Then come enjoy the flurry of fall leaves, crisp air, and changing colors at free Park Ranger-led programs at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in October.

A wide variety of programs will be offered at the park during October, including Saturdays at the Lakeshore, Historic Beach Patrols, a Families United in Nature (FUN) event, and a presentation by the Artist-in-Residence.

Historic BeachPatrols:  This special event is held only two nights of the year.  Meet at the Maritime Museum in Glen Haven at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 10 and 17 for a two-hour night patrol.  Dress for the weather and walk the beach with lanterns and a U.S. Lifesaving Service surfman in search of a shipwreck.  The worse the weather gets, the more authentic it will feel!

Artist-in-Residence:  Ms. Nicole Macdonald, a filmmaker from Detroit, will give a presentation on her experiences during her three weeks as the October Artist-in-Residence at the park.  The program will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center on M-72 in Empire on Friday, October 23.

Saturdays at the Lakeshore:  Every Saturday, meet a Park Ranger at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center in Empire.  The Park Ranger will introduce the week’s topic and then lead a car caravan a short distance to the starting point for the walk.  Each week, a different topic and location in the park will be featured.  All hikes are less than two hours and two miles round-trip, and everyone is welcome.  Wearing orange or other brightly colored clothing is recommended for added safety in the fall:

  • October 3 - Fungus Foray:  Fall rains and cooler temperatures stimulate the growth of a variety of fungi in our woodlands.  Join a Park Ranger to learn about the types of fungus and search for what is out right now.

  • October 10 - Glen Haven Historic Village:  Step back into the colorful past of an historic steamboat stop that operated from 1865 to 1931.  Feel the past come back to life as you visit the buildings and hear their stories on this Park Ranger-guided walking tour of the once bustling village.

  • October 17 - Great Lakes Geology:  Discover the fascinating geology of the Great Lakes dunes, glacial sands and ice, overlooks, and landslides, on this Park Ranger-led hike.

  • October 24 - Families United with Nature (FUN) Fall Frenzy:  Join a Park Ranger for the second outing of the FUN outdoor activity club.  Enjoy the autumn colors and learn about how wild creatures prepare for winter with an afternoon of hiking and hands-on nature activities.  The public is invited, too!

  • October 31 - Aral:  History, Mystery, and Murder:  Explore the site of a once-booming lumber town that vanished.  Learn of the hidden history, mystery, and murders and what happened to the town.  Long pants and closed-toe shoes are recommended.

All Park Ranger-led programs are free.  Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or already have an annual pass to join in the fun.  Reservations are not required, but are suggested if you wish to bring a group.  Please call 231-326-5134, ext. 330, for details.

Families interested in joining FUN at any time may contact Lisa Myers at 231-326-5134, ext. 300, or check the website for more information.

Did You Know?

Lake Michigan Beaches

Where can you find 35 miles of pristine Lake Michigan Beaches? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore also includes North Manitou Island (20 miles of shoreline) and South Manitou Island (14 miles of shoreline). More...