Winter Snowshoe Hikes

The National Park will be holding weekly Ranger-led Snowshoe hikes in the park.

There will be two hikes each Saturday, one for beginners called the Snowshoe Saunter and one for more experienced snowshoe hikers called the Snowshoe Trek.

Reservations are required but snowshoes are not and will be loaned at no charge to participants. For more information and learn more about the events on the park’s website: and to make a reservation for a hike, Please call 231-326-4700, extension 5010.


Weekly Snowshoe Hikes

Date: Saturdays 

Time: 1:00 PM

Location: Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire

Book Release Party Sunday December 8th at 3pm

Come Celebrate with us at our Book Release Party at Cherry Republic Glen Arbor! 


Come meet the historians, photographers, and writers who created The Life of the Sleeping Bear and the story that chronicles the journey of our Park and community.
This is a FREE Event with delicious treats, including cherry pie donated by Cherry Republic.

Enter a drawing for a Cherry Republic $30 gift card with each book purchased at the event! The drawing will take place at 3:30 after a short program.

Sunday from 3-5 pm, Cherry Republic will offer a 15% discount on any products shipped from the store if you include a book purchased during the Book Celebration event. Send cherry goodies and a copy of the book to those on your holiday shopping list. Flat-rate shipping is $9.95 per shipping location.

Event Information: 

Location: Cherry Republic Public House
Address: 6026 A, 5109, S Lake St, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Date: Sunday, December 8, 2019
Time: 3-5 pm

To learn more about the book and pre-order a copy of your own, visit the book page here

Come visit us as the Traverse City Holiday Book Festival

The Life of the Sleeping Bear will be sold at the Traverse City Holiday Book Festival, and visit with Santa while you shop at the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes booth! This book will make a great holiday gift for anyone who enjoys spending time around the Sleeping Bear Dunes. 


Event: Traverse City Holiday Book Festival
Location: The Village at Grand Traverse Commons
Date: Sunday, December 15 
Time: 12-4 pm

To learn more about the book, visit:


Book on sale at Empire Artisan Market

Come take a look at our book, The Life of the Sleeping Bear, and support the Friends.

We will have the book available for sale at the Empire Artisan Marketplace for one day only!

Event: Empire Artisan Marketplace
Address: Empire Township Hall located at 10088 W. Front Street, Empire, MI 49630.
Date: Saturday, November 30, 2019 
Time: 10 am – 4 pm. 

Limited Run Friends Bike Jersey Sale

For our 25th anniversary, we wanted to celebrate by creating a custom bike jersey to represent and support the park.
These will only be available for a limited time! The purchasing time frame is open from November 1st through November 24th. All profits go to support the mission of FSBD. 

Click through to the page about the Jerseys to learn more! 

Grand Opening of the New Kettles Trail

Kettles Trail Grand Opening

Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Time: 1 PM -4 PM  
Place: W Baatz Rd, Empire, MI 49630

Celebrate the opening of the new Kettles Trail with us during our ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 20.
The celebration will take at the trailhead on West Baatz Road near its intersection with South Fritz Road, west of Leelanau County Road 669. For more information about the Kettles Trail, please visit the program page

The event will include light refreshments of cider and donuts as well as guided hikes of the trail will
be offered by volunteers following the ribbon cutting.

This trail is the first visitor amenity in the “Bow Lakes” area of the park. Congress added the Bow
Lakes area to the National Lakeshore in 1982 specifically because of its geological features,
especially the “kettle” topography. Superintendent Scott Tucker noted, “It is fitting that we are
opening the Kettles Trail on what is literally the eve of the National Lakeshore’s 50 th anniversary
year. The Kettles Trail will provide visitor access to some of the best examples of the ‘ancient glacial
phenomena’ that Congress cited when it established the park on October 21, 1970.”


Call for Volunteers for Race Through Sleeping Bear

Help is needed at the Sleeping Bear Marathon

Date: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Time: 7 AM -2 PM – different positions require different time commitments 
Place: Race Start & Finish will be in Empire, MI. 
Various volunteer positions could be along the race route. 

Help us ensure a successful marathon, half marathon, and 5K run/walk in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. All races start and finish in Empire, MI. The out-and-back marathon course will take runners by the “Dune Climb”, past Little Glen Lake, and through the village of Glen Arbor with views of the Manitou Islands and Sleeping Bear Dunes along the way. Our Trail Crew will be out cleaning the trail before the race to make sure it is safe and clean.

Volunteers are needed for help with packet pick-up on Friday, along the race route, at the finish line, and at the celebration at the end on Saturday. 

When you register, on page two it will ask “Are you part of a volunteer group?”.
Hit: Yep, Friends of Sleeping Bear & we will receive a donation to our organization for our time! 

Volunteer Here:

Hike the Heritage Trail

All are welcome to join us as we close out Summer and welcome Fall, for our Second Annual “Hike the Heritage” on Saturday, September 28th. Fall colors are on schedule, so the trail will have beautiful coloring for all to enjoy. 

Date: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Time: 8 AM -5:30 PM to walk the entire trail – or join when you can.  

  •  Gather at Good Harbor Bay at the end of Bohemian Road at 8 a.m.
  • Meet for lunch at Cherry Public House at 12 noon
  • Celebrate at Empire Beach around 5:30 p.m.


Volunteer at the park on National Public Lands Day, September 28th

Date: Saturday, September 28th, 2019
Time: 9 AM -1 PM 
Place: The trail at Bass Lake

National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to enjoy and give something back to those places we love. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will lead a work-bee on the trail at Bass Lake from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Volunteers working on trail maintenance at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.


No reservation required, just meet at the parking lot at the end of Trails End Road, south of Empire and west of M-22. Participants should dress for the weather, and bring water and sunscreen. National park rangers will provide all necessary tools and equipment.

Participants in the volunteer event will also earn a coupon for an additional free one-day entrance pass to public lands any time before September 27, 2020.

Snowshoe & Chili — Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes Fundraiser

Thanks Cherry Public House and Cherry Republic! We can’t wait to snowshoe and enjoy some chili with you all.

Many of you have been asking how you can help, this is a great way. Hope you can join us.

** Don’t have snowshoes?
You can rent them at Coastal, 6324 W. Western Ave, Glen Arbor.

government shutdown fundraiser national parks

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