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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 this month. All programs will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center in Empire.
April 7- Backcountry Bushwhacking – This hike will be more strenuous than our usual ranger guided events so it is not for the faint of heart. Since April is such a great time to go hiking, wear your boots and take a compass to explore one of the most rugged and seldom visited areas of the Lakeshore. It is about a three mile hike with hills and no trail. Great forest! Great views! Great adventure!
April 14 - Long Lost Log Cabins of the Lakeshore – Lakeshore staff will reveal two well-preserved, and well-hidden, log cabins from the first days of Leelanau County’s settlement. Visit each cabin and learn about the folks who built them, how they were built and why they have been “lost” for so many years. Each cabin is just a short walk from your vehicle.
April 21- 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 we will also have loaners.
April 28- Junior Ranger Day – Special activities are planned all day long for kids of all ages to earn their Junior Ranger badge. There will be programs at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (Details on this and other National Park Week celebrations will be announced separately).
Meet at the Visitor Center where the Park Ranger will give an overview of the day’s program. Then, travel in your vehicle 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. Exception: April 7 - Backcountry Bushwhacking will be more difficult than our normal Saturday afternoon hikes and should appeal to those seeking a greater challenge.
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 these programs or other Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore activities, please call the Visitor Center at 231-326-5134.