Pipe Safes at Beaches More Convenient for National Lakeshore Visitors

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Date: July 6, 2007
Contact: Paul Purifoy, 231-326-5134

Assistant Superintendent Tom Ulrich is pleased to announce that effective Wednesday, July 4, 2007, visitors to Esch Beach and Peterson Beach, located within the boundaries of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, will be able to purchase a park entrance pass through a self-registration system at each location. North Bar Lake already has this option, and the beaches at County Roads 651 and 669 on Good Harbor Bay will soon provide this convenience as well.

All visitors to the Lakeshore need to display a pass (i.e., Park Pass, Annual Park Pass, Senior Pass, Access Pass, or Interagency Annual Pass) on the dashboard of their vehicle when recreating in the park. Many people who have received “fee reminders” on their vehicles have asked for a more convenient way to purchase their pass.  Sleeping Bear Dunes is not like most national parks that have limited access roads and entrance stations. Here, fees are collected along the 35-mile stretch of National Lakeshore by rangers at Platte River Campground, Philip A. Hart Visitor Center, Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, Dune Climb, D.H. Day Campground and Leland Harbor (for island visitors).

By installing the self-service pipe safes at main beach access points, the park provides people a more convenient way to purchase an entrance pass. Visitors to these locations can simply fill out an envelope and pay for a pass with cash, check or credit card. The envelopes will have a detachable receipt that must then be displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard.  “We wanted to respond to the many suggestions we have received for providing more purchase locations. Although the entrance pass has been required since 1997, people who visit places in the park that are not equipped for pass sales often don’t realize this, or decide to ignore the pass requirement because they don’t want to drive to a sales location right then.” said Ulrich. “Regardless,” Ulrich added, “with all that we offer, a visit to the Lakeshore is a bargain, especially if you are a local resident who visits the park a lot.”

Entrance fees are: 

  • Park Pass (per vehicle)
    Valid 1-7 Days From Date of Issue
  • Annual Park Pass
    Valid for One Year from Month of Purchase
  • Access Pass
    Lifetime, Disabled
    No Charge
  • Senior Pass
    Lifetime, U.S. Citizen, 62 Years and Over
  • Interagency Annual Pass
    Valid for One Year from Month of Purchase

The 2005 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act allows the Lakeshore to retain the majority of the fee revenues collected at the site and use them for improvements related to visitor use and enjoyment. Eighty percent of the fees visitors pay in the Lakeshore are kept by the park and used for projects that directly benefit park visitors. As visitors travel throughout the Lakeshore and enjoy maintained trails, accessible restrooms, improved campgrounds, and restored historic structures, they can readily see how the fees are put to good use.

For more information or to provide comments, please visit the following web link: https://www.nps.gov/slbe/contacts.htm or write the Superintendent at 9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Empire, MI 49630


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