The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. The ribbon cutting celebrates the completion of nearly five miles of trail between Glen Arbor and the Dune Climb. When fully completed, the 27-mile trail will run from the southern edge of Leelanau County to Good Harbor Bay at County Route 651.
With over 100 miles of designated trails on the mainland, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers a wide variety of hiking experiences and activity levels. Our Trail Patrollers walk their favorite trail at least once a month picking up trash and removing obstacles like down branches from the trail. They report large problems to the Park Roads and Trails group. Pick your favorite trail and join us.
The Platte and Crystal Rivers flow through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Thousands of people enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and tubing down these rivers during the summer months. Our River Rangers float the rivers on a regular basis to pick up trash and report safety issues. If you enjoy the river, why not help out?
Help us keep our Lake Michigan beaches beautiful and safe. Adopt your favorite beach and walk your beach at least once a month picking up trash and reporting on beach conditions. It’s a great way to enjoy the beach – with a purpose.
The Port Oneida Fair features 6 historical sites in the Rural Historic District of Sleeping Bear Dunes each August. Over 100 demonstrators practice their crafts while children try their hand at a wide variety of hands-on activities. Music and square dancing add to the atmosphere.
The fields of the Port Oneida Rural Historic District are an integral part of the historic agricultural landscape that makes this area unique. Left unchecked, these fields would become forest again. The Friends work under the direction of Park Staff to mow the fields on a rotating basis to keep the fields clear of woody vegetation. Want to mow a field? Contact us to become part of our Mowing Team.
Thousands of people are drawn to the beautiful beaches of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore each year. Each person is responsible to leave the beach in the same or better condition than they found it. Visitors are encouraged to take out all their trash and used containers and to pick up any trash that they see while at the beach, but it is important to have a program of regular maintenance to assure the beauty of the beaches.
The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes in cooperation with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Alliance for the Great Lakes has developed an Adopt-A-Beach program to provide regular monitoring and clean-up … Read & Learn More
Many of the historic farms in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore had flower and vegetable gardens around the house or out-buildings. The role of the Adopt-A-Garden project are to maintain some of these gardens – especially flower gardens to maintain the historic landscape. This is especially important in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. The Lawr Farm on M-22 was the first farm garden to be included in the program. A few volunteers work to weed and prune the flower garden there each year.
Each year thousands of people kayak, canoe, or tube the two rivers (Platte River and Crystal River) in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to experience the fun of navigating a flowing stream and enjoying the flora and fauna on the river. Downed trees or branches or other strainers and erosion of banks, can make the river trip more difficult or dangerous. River adopters commit to patrolling their river section about once each month on their own schedule to clear small obstructions by hand or with hand tools and to communicate larger obstructions or erosion to Park Trails and Roads Maintenance. Also, even though most people who boat the rivers … Read & Learn More
Each year thousands of people use the over 100 miles of trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to experience the variety of natural ecosystems that exist in the Park and to see beautiful vistas that are inaccessible from a vehicle. Downed trees or branches due to high wind, snow or ice sometimes block the trail, or erosion can cut gullies into the making a hike more difficult or dangerous. Trail adopters commit to hiking their trail about once each month to clear small obstructions by hand or with hand tools and to communicate larger obstructions or erosion to Park Trails and Roads Maintenance. Also, even though most people … Read & Learn More
Several old orchards exist in historic areas of the park – especially in the Port Oneida Rural Historic District. For several years, the National Park Service has conducted pruning workshops to teach members of the public how to care for old apple and pear trees like these. In 2011 some of the workshop attendees offered to “adopt” an orchard to keep the trees pruned and grass mowed to help keep these orchards alive, so we started the Adopt-An-Orchard program. We have just a few orchards adopted, and we are looking for more volunteers. If you would like to help us maintain one of these historic orchards, contact Kerry … Read & Learn More
Visitors looking for a remote section of Lake Michigan beach to enjoy often find that access to these remote areas is difficult – requiring descent of steep bluffs from the road or trail to the beach. This often causes erosion of the bluffs and then trees fall creating even more hazardous conditions. In 2009 the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Cherry Republic teamed up with the NPS Roads and Trails crew to build beach access stairs at the end of Lane Road in Port Oneida.
We just completed construction of another beach access stairs on August 3, 2012. This set of stairs is located at the end of the … Read & Learn More
The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes publishes 13 inexpensive visitor guide booklets covering a wide variety of topics from visitor information, area history, and environmental or scientific topics related to the Park. Many extensive research reports have been written about these topics, but they were in large reports which were expensive and not easily accessible to the average visitor. These booklets are short, easily read, and inexpensive. The booklets are available in several locations in and near the National Lakeshore for a donation of $2 per booklet, which covers the cost of printing. Over 30,000 of the booklets have been sold since 2006 when the first booklets were published. … Read & Learn More
The historic agricultural landscape is an important part of the Port Oneida Rural Historic District within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Viewing the relationship between the farms and fields of the district gives the visitor appreciation of the lifestyle and challenges of the people who lived here. These fields have not been farmed for many years and trees and other woody vegetation begin to reclaim the fields back into forest. For this reason, the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes has purchased a tractor and brush hog mower to mow the historic farm fields.
The Port Oneida Landscape Management Plan for the historic district was completed in 2012. It defines which … Read & Learn More
Wetland Restoration – A permanent deer exclosure fence was built around the perimeter of an artificial wetland used to remove excess nutrients from effluent generated from a closed-loop fish cleaning station the park maintains for visitor use at the Platte River Picnic Area. In addition to construction of the fence, this project involves re-establishing targeted wetland plant species in the wetland. This project was made possible through a grant from the National Parks Foundation. Donation:$9,450
Port Oneida Lake MI Access Stairs – Volunteers from Cherry Republic and the Friends … Read & Learn More
The Annual Port Oneida Fair celebrates the art and culture of rural agricultural communities in Northern Michigan. The 12th annual fair is scheduled for August 9 & 10, 2013 from 10 AM to 4 PM both days. This FREE two day event allows visitors to step back in time to the period of 1850 – 1945. The Fair is held at six historic sites within the Port Oneida Rural Historic District of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Over 100 artists and craftspeople demonstrate their specialty during the Fair. Horses and oxen work the fields and music is in the air both days. Activities for children can be found at … Read & Learn More
The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is the biggest recreational project supported by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Prior to the Summer of 2012, there were no trails in the National Lakeshore where bicycles could be ridden. This new trail provides a wonderful new recreational opportunity for families and individuals to experience the Park outside of their cars. We hope people will park their cars and either walk or safely ride bikes to many of the popular destinations in the Park.
The Bay to Bay Backpack and Kayak Trail will parallel the mainland shoreline within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore boundaries from Platte Bay to Good Harbor Bay. On land, this trail will make use of active beach or existing disturbed areas and corridors to the extent possible. The trail will provide backpackers as well as Lake Michigan kayakers and canoeists a way to do multiple day trips in the National Lakeshore. Some additional primitive back-country campgrounds will be built to provide for overnight camping along the way. The White Pines back-country … Read & Learn More
The Bow Lakes region of the National Lakeshore is an isolated area southeast of Glen Lake and north of M-72. It is accessed off of Baatz Road or Lanham Road (not plowed in the winter). This area was added to the boundary of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the early 1980s because of the unique glacial topography including kettle bogs and lakes. Only part of this area is owned by the NPS at this time, but property will be acquired in the area on a willing-seller basis as they become available … Read & Learn More