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.
Climbing the Dunes
Everybody wants to climb the Sleeping Bear Dunes, so come to the Dune Climb located north of Empire on M-109. You will find pure, wind-blown sand to climb, then run or roll down the dunes to the picnic area for a break and some refreshments and then head up the dune again.
Climbing the dunes is great exercise and there is a beautiful view of Glen Lake from the top. With the parking lot and picnic area at the base of the dune, you can stop climbing when you get tired and let gravity bring you back down.
This is a great playground for kids of all ages. The memories created here draw us to bring our children and grandchildren here to share the fun and create their own memories.
Terry Phipps 2005
Kerry Kelly 2005
Those who have a lot of energy can take a hike on the Dunes Trail to Lake Michigan. This is the most strenuous trail in the park. While only 3.5 miles round trip, it is all sand and you will find climbing the dunes all along the trail to be a challenge. This is especially true on hot, sunny days. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and take lots of water. The hike is worth the effort, because you will see a variety of wildflowers and the sight of Lake Michigan is outstanding. Don’t forget, you have to walk back.
There is also a handicap-accessible interpretive trail at the Dune Climb which identifies the local wildlife and shows how the dune is moving.
Did You Know?
There are over 100 miles of hiking trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Many of these trails can also be used for skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. More...