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.
Yes, there are times when the weather forces us to stay indoors. If you have times like that during your visit, plan to go to the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire. Watch the slide presentation that introduces you to the park and walk through the exhibit room and browse the store.
You can also visit the Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum and walk through the US Life-Saving Service station and the boathouse. The Glen Haven General Store, Cannery Boathouse, and Blacksmith shop will also be open in the summer.
If you are in Empire, stop into the Empire Historical Museum on M-22. They have an extensive collection of exhibits about the history of this area.
Did You Know?
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...