• Looking out at the lake

    Sleeping Bear Dunes

    National Lakeshore Michigan

Free Fall Fun - "Saturdays at the Lakeshore" in September

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Date: September 3, 2009
Contact: Jennifer Wurts, 231-326-5134

Are you ready to enjoy the crisp fall air? Then join a Park Ranger at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to explore the dunes, marvel at ghost forests, look for wildlife, and beautify the beaches!

Every Saturday after Labor Day, meet a Park Ranger at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire on M-72. 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 are welcome.

  • September 12 - 1:00 p.m. - The Whole Point of Sleeping Bear Dunes: This two-mile round-trip hike on the Sleeping Bear Point Trail epitomizes the area protected by the park. Discover shifting dunes, specialized plants, a ghost forest, shipwrecks, and fantastic views of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. If you only hike one trail in the park, this is the one!

  • September 19 - 1:00 p.m. - Beaver’s Been Here: Explore the shoreline in search of nature’s industrious beaver. The Park Ranger will show you clues that “beaver’s been here” and perhaps even help you spot this amazing animal.

  • September 26 - 12:00 p.m. - National Public Lands Day Coastal Cleanup: Enjoy the park on this annual “fee-free” day and help beautify the beaches you love by joining Park Rangers and volunteers for this coastal cleanup event.

All Park Ranger-led programs are free. Participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass to join in the fun. Please note that on National Public Lands Day, September 26, 2009, the entrance fee is waived. Also, the program starts at noon instead of 1:00 p.m. Reservations are not required, but are suggested if you wish to bring a group. Please call 231-326-5134, extension 330, for details.

Did You Know?

South Manitou Island Lighthouse

The lighthouse on South Manitou Island (Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) was commissioned in 1872 and served Lake Michigan Shipping for over 100 years. You can take a tour of the lighthouse and climb its 117 step circular stairway to a great view of the Manitou Passage. More...