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Contact: Lisa Myers, 231-326-5134
Who doesn’t want to get outside and go for a hike now that spring is in the air? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s popular Saturday afternoon ranger-guided hikes give you a variety of topics and reasons to get outside for an afternoon in April. All programs will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center at Empire. Hikes are offered every Saturday in April, May and June and then, daily in July and August. Saturday afternoon hikes resume again in September and October. Schools and other groups are welcome to request walks and tours with National Park Rangers throughout the year.
April 5- Wonderful Waterfowl – Some birds have been here all winter and some are just returning, but all are wonderful! Spend some time viewing the Lakeshore’s ducks, geese, and swans. Learn their names and habits. If you have binoculars, bring them along but there will also be loaners for you to use.
April 12 - The World of Frogs- What would spring be without the sound of frogs? Why are they singing and why are they disappearing all around the world? Are they trying to tell us something? Join Ranger Peggy to study frogs in their natural environment. Learn to identify several local varieties by sight and sound. This is a great outdoor adventure for the whole family
April 19– A Flurry of Early Wild Flowers – Few places on earth have such an abundance of wildflowers as the spring hardwood forest of Northwest Michigan. Join a ranger to marvel at this annual display of early spring wildflowers as your hike through one of the best wildflower habitats in the region.
April 26- Junior Ranger Day! – Special morning and afternoon activities for everyone to earn their Junior Ranger badge. Details on this and other National Park Week celebration events will be announced separately.
Meet at the Visitor Center where the Park Ranger will give an overview of the day’s program. Then, travel a short distance in your car to a specific location to begin your hike or walk. Be prepared for outdoor conditions and plan to stay out until about 3:00 p.m. The ranger-led hikes are mildly strenuous, yet they proceed at a leisurely pace for approximately one and a half miles. This allows visitors an opportunity to look for signs of wildlife, former settlers, and ancient glaciers or to simply experience more of the National Lakeshore.
The hikes are free and reservations are not required; participants need only purchase a park pass to participate ($10/vehicle, valid for seven days; or $20/vehicle, for an entire year).
For more information about the schedule or other Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134.