Celebrate Fall and Plan for Winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: October 11, 2017

Join park rangers in celebrating fall and plan for winter at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore). The colors are starting to change, the crispness is in the air, and the heat of summer has gone; a perfect time to celebrate the season with a few special events in October at the National Lakeshore.

October 12 - Winter Weather Training 101
We are all aware of what season comes after fall and know just how unpredictable it can be. If you are interested in learning more about winter weather in the Great Lakes, you are encouraged to attend this FREE presentation by meteorologists from the National Weather Service. The program is open to everyone and will last approximately 90 minutes. Join them on Thursday, October 12 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, 9922 Front Street (M-72), Empire, Michigan 49630.

  • Topics covered this year include:
  • Winter precipitation types. How does snow, freezing rain, and sleet occur?
  • Snow measurement and reporting
  • National Weather Service winter product changes and simplification
  • A look back at the winter of 2016-2017
  • Winter outlook for this year
  • Winter folklore

October 14 - Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive Fall Fun
Take a tour of the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Stop at the viewpoints and spend some time with park staff while you are enjoying the fall colors. Park rangers, volunteers, and Sleeping Bear Dune’s October Artist-in-Residence, Anna Cox, will be available for conversation, information, and activities related to a fall theme. Look for these activities on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Anna Cox is spending three weeks at the park and will be available at the Cottonwood Trail entrance. She will be doing some plein air painting and is looking forward to talking about her ongoing experience at the park. Ann’s artistic roots sprouted early and were entangled in her explorations of the heavily wooded property of her childhood home. Long walks along the creek were interspersed with making creations from found materials. A cross-country trip through national parks opened her eyes to the grand beauty of this country, and a research trip to Cuba revealed a tropical light that bleached bright colors. The process of painting outdoors helps Anna observe nature in a deeper way, sharpening her senses, and making her more observant of the cycles of the tides and the angle of light. Her life’s next exciting chapter is a cross-country trip where she will be painting the landscape at several national parks. She will take field notes and paint studies that can then be used to create larger studio paintings. Anna’s goal is to create a body of work that will convey the beauty of our country.

October 21 - Sleeping Bear Dunes Birthday Star Party
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers visitors an extraordinary opportunity once the sun has set. Located far from sources of urban light pollution, the National Lakeshore allows for an unhindered view of the night sky and offers opportunities for visitors to gaze at the visible universe as it was witnessed in times long past. Park rangers and members of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will help you unravel some of the mysteries of the night sky. October 21 marks the 47th Anniversary of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Celebrate the National Lakeshore’s birthday with the final Star Party of 2017. This will be a great occasion to observe the night sky, planets, star clusters, nebulae, and distant galaxies from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Dune Climb. Please park in the row furthest from the dunes with your headlights facing M-109.

This event will be cancelled for inclement weather or if the stars are not visible due to cloudy weather conditions. The decision to cancel will be made two hours in advance of the event; please call 231-326-4700, ext. 5005, for a voicemail message with the decision.

The Philip A Hart Visitor Center in Empire is now open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Stop in to view the Ann Loveless tapestry, watch a film, and explore the exhibit area.

All programs offered by the National Lakeshore are free. Participants need only purchase the Park Entrance Pass or have an Annual Pass displayed in their vehicle to join in the fun. Passes may be purchased at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire.

Last updated: October 12, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

9922 Front Street
Empire, MI 49630


(231) 326-4700

Contact Us