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Contact: Bill Herd, 231-326-5134
Where else can youvisit a beaver pond, hike through the dunes, meet an artist in residence, re-create a historic beach patrol looking for shipwrecks or make a difference on National Public Lands Day? Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is the place to do all that and more. Fall is an excellent time to visit the National Park Service’s (NPS) jewel of the Midwest and park rangers are ready to help you discover a side of the park that you might not know already.
Saturdays at the Lakeshore
Every Saturday afternoon, a Park Ranger will meet you at the Visitor Center in Empire on M-72 at 1:00 p.m., introduce a topic, and then drive a short distance to where the program will begin. Each week, a different topic and location will be featured. Programs are usually over by 3:00 p.m.
**On September 29, National Public Lands Day, in addition to the beach cleanup that meets at the Visitor Center in the afternoon, Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear, a park partner group, has a work project in Port Oneida for which volunteers are needed. For more details on what to take and where to meet, please see the following link: PHSB Project or call Preserve at (231) 334-6103.
Hike to a Beaver Lodge
An easy hike to see the native “engineers” of the park
National Public Lands Day: Beach Cleanup/Historic Preservation**
(Fee Free Day)
Join other volunteers to beautify a park beach while recording data on a coastal cleanup or help rebuild an outbuilding on an historic farmstead.
A Berry Good Year
Learn to identify wildflowers that are now in seed and berry.
The Whole Point of Sleeping Bear Dunes
Hike the trail that best epitomizes the park
Historic Boats of the Manitou Passage
See and learn about different types of boats with the park’s museum technician.
Devil’s Hole and its Haunted History
Hike to this big hole in the dunes to hear some legends about it.
Artists in Residence
The Artist in Residence Program welcomes Lori Taylor from Goodrich, MI and Margaret Huddy from Alexandria, VA in September and October, respectively. Each lucky artist stays in the park for three weeks to focus on her talents and work. In exchange for the opportunity, they offer a public presentation and donate a piece of art to the National Lakeshore. Their programs are scheduled as follows:
Friday, September 28 at 2:00 p.m.
Ms. Taylor will demonstrate her works of mixed media and storytelling. She will also share her experiences from collaborating on exhibits for nature centers and museums.
Friday, October 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Ms. Huddy will show her watercolor landscapes which she enjoys producing “en plein air” and talk about how her travels around the world have influenced her work.
Historic Beach Patrols
Fall was traditionally known as “shipwreck season” on the Great Lakes and to commemorate it, NPS rangers invite the public to join a costumed interpreter on an historic beach patrol. A US Life Saving Service surfman will meet visitors at the Maritime Museum in Glen Haven at 7:30 on Saturdays, October 13 and 20. Dress appropriately for the weather. In fact, the worse the weather is, the more authentic the experience will be!
All programs are free but a park entrance pass is required whenever you are in the Lakeshore (exception: visit for free on September 29, National Public Lands Day!). Passes may be purchased at the Visitor Center, entrance stations, campgrounds and self-pay stations, and should always be displayed on the vehicle dashboard. For more information, contact the Visitor Center at: (231) 326-5134.