Bike Safety at Junior Ranger Day

Jr. Rangers learn Bike Safety

Jr. Rangers learn Bike Safety


The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes led a Bicycle Safety activity at the Junior Ranger Day Event at DH Day Campground on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Our Junior Rangers had to wear helmets, demonstrate signaling and riding through obstacles. They also learned how to take a tire off the rim and pump up a low tire.

THANK YOU to The Cyclery for providing bikes for the event!

Friends Social and Annual Meeting – Aug 30

We’ve all had a busy couple of weeks following the windstorm that blew down trees and damaged buildings in the area on August 2. The community response to the storm was to work together to get things back to normal.

The teamwork between Park Staff and Friends Volunteers allowed us to get the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail back open by Friday – less than two weeks after the storm! When we first surveyed the damage between Glen Haven and Glen Arbor, many of us thought it would be closed for the rest of the year. But our request for volunteers was met by 138 volunteers who provided 1,053 volunteer hours in 6 days of work! AMAZING!

Besides the storm clean-up, many of you have been busy this summer keeping our beaches, trails, and rivers clean and safe. Most often you do that with family or friends on your own schedule, and seldom do you get a chance to meet all of the other people doing the same thing. Our Annual Meeting is an opportunity to meet people of like mind and make some new friends. We have 124 Adopt-A-Beach volunteers, 115 Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail Ambassadors, 35 Adopt-A-Trail (Rustic Hiking Trails), 10 Adopt-A-Highway, and 10 Adopt-A-River volunteers. There are many others working on a variety of other projects too.

You are a member of the Friends if you volunteer or make financial donations! So please come on out to our Annual Social Gathering and Business Meeting. This year, the meeting will be held on Sunday, August 30 at the Glen Lake Yacht Club at 6617 Sunset Drive, Glen Arbor. This is a beautiful spot right on Glen Lake!

Pre-meeting Informational Walk – Leonard Marszalek will lead an informal walk along the new section of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail starting at the Crystal View Trailhead at Noon. This is your chance to learn more about the new trail and the section that will be built starting this fall.

Pre-Meeting Walk – Noon at the Crystal View Trailhead of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail
Annual Meeting – 1:00 PM at the Yacht Club
Social Event starts about 1:30 PM at the Yacht Club

I hope all of you volunteers and donors will join us and take this opportunity to meet some of the other friendly, committed supporters of our National Park. I promise we will keep the official meeting short and there will be plenty of time for informal discussions with our board members and other volunteers during the social time.

Click here for meeting agenda and a map to the Yacht Club.

Yoga on the Beach

YOTB-SB-250x188Do you love Yoga, fresh air, the sound of gentle waves lapping on the beach? Pick up your yoga mat or towel and head for the beach with us! The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes is partnering with Yoga on the Beach to conduct two yoga sessions this summer. All donations for the classes benefit Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes!

The first class will be Friday, July 24 at 9:30 – 10:30 AM at Good Harbor Beach (Bohemian Road CR-669). Click here to go to the event page on Facebook for more information and to RSVP (click Join).

The second class will be Thursday, August 13 at 8:00 – 9:00 PM at Glen Haven Beach (near the Cannery). Click here to go to the event page on Facebook for more information and to RSVP (click Join).

In case of rain, we will meet at the DH Day Log Cabin located in the back of the DH Day campground. You can get to the log cabin by driving to the back of the campground or by parking in Glen Haven and walking on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail to the cabin.

Excellent Ski Season Completed

The 2014-2015 cross-country ski season got off to a slow start. There wasn’t enough snow to groom the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail until mid-January, but the cold weather and snow did arrive, and by March, we had groomed the trail all the way from Glen Arbor to Empire many times.

Skiers on the SBHT

Skiers on the SBHT

We were concerned about the steep hills in the section from the Dune Climb to Empire, but we found that with fresh snow, skiers had no problems with the hills. They were easy enough to ski up without doing a herring bone up the hills, and coming down was a gentle glide.

Now that spring is here, the snow is melting off the trail and many areas are bare. It is time to get your bike out and tuned up. Once all of the snow is off the trail, the Trail Crew will be out with the blower to clear winter debris from the trail. We will let you know when all the snow is gone, so it is safe to ride your bike all the way from Empire to Glen Arbor.

The new section of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail will be built from Glen Arbor to Port Oneida this spring. We will be installing signs as soon as the asphalt is in place. If you can help us install signs, send an e-mail to We will let you know when the new section of trail is open!

Membership Meeting – September 7

Please join us at the DH Day Log Cabin on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in DH Day Campground for our Annual Members Meeting. The meeting will be held Sunday, September 7 from 2 – 4 PM and there will be dessert snacks and juice for social time after the meeting. You can either drive into the campground and park by the cabin or park at Glen Haven and walk or ride your bike to the cabin on the Heritage Trail. Parking is a bit limited at the cabin.

We will briefly update you on the status of our major projects and plans for the coming year. This is a great opportunity to get more details about your favorite project. You’ll have a chance to find out about upcoming projects that haven’t been publicized yet too.

We will have a Park Update from Merrith Baughman, Chief of Interpretation at Sleeping Bear Dunes also, so if you have any questions about activities in the Park, you can ask them then.

This is the time of year when we elect new board members as well. If you have contributed financially to the Friends in the past year, you can vote for board members. If you want, to vote, but didn’t contribute yet this year – don’t worry! Just bring your wallet along and make a donation and vote!

These meetings are always fun and give you a chance to meet other volunteers and board members in person, so come on out and join us on Sunday afternoon.

Click here to see an agenda for the meeting.

Sleepy Bear Twilight Ride – August 10, 2014

Join us for the second annual Sleepy Bear Twilight Ride on Sunday, August 10, 2014. This family-friendly bike ride is designed to have something for everyone. Choose to Beat the Bear for a challenging ride to Empire and back, or Chase the Cub for a relaxing, easy ride to Glen Arbor. Some ambitious hearty riders might decide to do both! Whatever you decide, there will be food and refreshments at the Dune Climb provided by Cherry Republic!

Sleepy Bear Twilight RideRegistration will be from 5 PM to 7 PM at the Dune Climb in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Riders begin as soon as they register and receive their Ride Token, and we’ll all be off the trail by dark. A suggested donation of $10 for individuals and $30 for families will be used for trail operations which include keeping the trail clean and clear for safe riding in the spring, summer, and fall and grooming for cross country skiing in the winter. Trail maintenance costs approximately $1,000 per mile annually.

Want to ride the Twilight Ride but didn’t bring a bike? No Problem! Thanks to the Cyclery in Glen Arbor, we will have bikes for you to ride at the Dune Climb for an additional donation. Suggested donation for bike rental is $10 for each child-size bike and $20 for each adult-size bike.

100% of donations will be used on Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail maintenance and operations.

Click HERE for more details.

Historic Beach Patrol

Fall was traditionally “shipwreck season” on the Great Lakes.  One hundred years ago, surfmen of the U.S. Life-Saving Service (LSS) set out each night to hike the shoreline in search of ships in distress.  The public is invited to relive history and join Park Rangers to recreate a traditional evening beach patrol.  Dress for the weather and meet at the Sleeping Bear Point Life-Saving Service Station/Maritime Museum in Glen Haven at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15.

Before radio communications were used at sea, ships could not call for help.  Spotting a vessel in distress from the shore was the only way rescue crews knew that their assistance was needed.  The beach patrol was one essential part of an LSS surfman’s duties.  Following a more in-depth explanation of the patrol process and some local shipwreck stories told from inside the station, the public will accompany National Park Service Rangers for a lantern-lit hike along the beach.  There are always a few surprises along the way and everyone should carry a flashlight for safety.  Wind and rain will only make the patrol more authentic, so be ready for any weather!

Surfman finds life preserver on beach

Unlike the original surfmen, hikers may turn back at any time during the one-hour, one mile roundtrip beach walk and return to the Maritime Museum.  There, they will be welcomed by a volunteer and find shelter, warmth and a chance to see how the Life-Saving Service surfmen once lived in the restored crew’s quarters.  The entire program lasts about two hours.

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