Field Trips

Snowshoe Hikes

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Grade Level:
Upper Elementary: Third Grade through Fifth Grade
Literacy and Language Arts,Science
Common Core Standards:
4.RI.1, 4.RI.3, 4.RI.9, 4.SL.4, 4.SL.5, 4.SL.6, 4.W.1, 4.W.7, 4.W.8, 4.W.9


The education team is excited to offer our fourth year of snowshoe field trips for 3rd-5th graders! Bring your students to our winter wonderland for a snowshoeing adventure and curriculum-based activities and games. Learn about winter ecology, animal adaptations, snow science, and more. Download our pre-visit and post-visit lessons, designed to be used in a mix and match format in your classroom to help you prepare students for their visit and extend their learning after their visit. We hope to have rangers available in November and December to visit your classrooms for a fun and educational pre-visit program. Snowshoe Experience field trips will be offered Tuesday-Friday, from January through March.

This year, the National Lakeshore received a transportation grant from the National Park Foundation which will be administered by our partner organization, the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. We are able to offer some bus reimbursement to 4th grade classes only. Grants will be awarded competitively based on certain criteria; please see the Bus Transportation Application for details. 

Not a 4th grade teacher? Don’t need transportation funding? Don’t worry, we will be scheduling your Field Trip Requests starting December 2nd.

Email Emily for a Snowshoe Hike Pre and Post Visit materials.

Student Snowshoe Experience Field Trip Request

Thank you for your interest in attending a ranger-led snowshoe experience at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore!

The open period for submitting the following information for 4th grade classes who are requesting bus funding is October 1, 2019 to November 1, 2019. Grant recipients will be notified by November 15th, 2019.

All other snowshoe field trip requests will be scheduled starting December 2nd, 2019 on a first-come, first served basis. 

To request a field trip please answer the following 21 questions by copying the below text into an email or word document, inserting your school's information, and then emailing or postal mailing your responses. If you would prefer a PDF version of the forms you can request those via email or phone.


or postal mail: 
Attn: Education Technician
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
9922 West Front Street
Empire, MI, 49630.

Please provide the following information:

  1. Today’s Date:
  2. Name of School:
  3. School Address:
  4. Name(s) of teacher(s) attending the field trip:
  5. Phone Number:
  6. Email:
  7. Grade(s):
  8. Number of Students Per Grade:
  9. Total number of students:
  10. Estimated number of chaperones:
  11. Have you brought students to the Lakeshore before? If so, which program did you attend?
  12. Is your school Title 1?
  13. Is your school a Tribal school?
  14. What percent of students receive free/reduced lunch?
  15. What percent of students are ESL/ELL students?
  16. Field Trip Requests Dates: (Snowshoes Field Trips are available Tuesday-Friday, January-March.)
    1st Choice:
    2nd choice:
    3rd choice:
  17. Preferred arrival time:
  18. Departure time:
  19. Special needs or requests:
  20. By submitting your answers to the above questions, you agree to complete a pre-visit and a post-visit activity in addition to attending the ranger-led field trip. These activities are available for free at
    1. Pre-visit activity you plan to complete:
    2. Post-visit activity you plan to complete:
  21. If you are also applying for bus transportation (open to 4th grade classes only) please include the following and review the Bus Transportation Information below: 
  • Briefly describe why your group needs financial support for bus transportation.
  • Number of buses:
  • Total dollar amount requested: (see transportation information below)
Grant recipients will be notified by November 15th, 2019.

If you are NOT applying for a transportation grant, you will be contacted starting December 3rd, 2018 to confirm and schedule your visit.

Bus Transportation Information

Funds may be available to help cover the cost of transportation from your school to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for a ranger-led, academic field trip. Grants are administered by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, a non-profit, charitable organization supporting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The grants awarded may not cover all of your transportation costs. Money from your school, PTA, or your own fundraising efforts may be needed to make up the difference. Please communicate directly with your bus company in order to provide us with the most accurate cost estimate.

Grant Criteria
Criteria may vary based on the field trip. Transportation grants will be awarded competitively based on the following:

  1. Cost Efficiency (lowest cost, considering number of students and distance travelled).
  2. Reasons financial support is needed.
  3. Preference may be given to classes that are first-time visitors to the National Lakeshore.

Transportation Estimate
When calculating the bus transportation estimate, please use the address. Please also note that the bus(es) will drive an additional 6-10 miles during the field trip.
Philip A. Hart Visitor Center
9922 West Front Street
Empire, MI, 49630
Grant recipients will be notified by November 15th, 2019. Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes will only pay the amount agreed upon in the grant award. If bus invoices exceed this amount, schools will be responsible for making up the difference. To receive the funds, you must send an invoice AFTER the trip has been completed to:

Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, Inc.
Attn: Don McNew,
P.O. Box 545
Empire, MI, 49630


Pre and post snowshoe hike lesson plans

Download Snowshoe Hike Lesson Plans

Last updated: October 8, 2019