Articles

Preventative Search and Rescue – PSAR

PSAR Volunteers helped reduce the number of Search and Rescues in the Park by over 50%. Fewer emergencies = happier visitors! Join our PSAR team!


A Busy Year – 2017 Accomplishments

The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes spent over $70,000 in support of a wide variety of projects at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The largest projects in 2017 were maintenance of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, Beach and Trail Accessibility Projects, and the snowshoe program for 4th graders. Click here to see our annual newsletter that describes some of the projects and includes a list of projects we funded. For those of you who want more details about all of the projects we funded in 2016, click here.

What’s in the Plan for 2018?

We will definitely be busy in 2018 with our ongoing volunteer programs, but there will also be several big projects that we will need your help with. We will need volunteers AND donations to accomplish these big goals next year.

  • Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail – Annual Operations & Maintenance ($25,000)
  • Kettles Trail in the Bow Lakes Region of the Park – We will be building trail and parking lot in 2018 ($40,000). The first part of the trail from the parking lot to an overlook at the nearest kettle will be accessible (packed crushed stone).
  • A new accessible walkway and platform at the Maritime Museum beach ($15,000).
  • Replacement of the dock at Bass Lake (Benzie County) and accessible trail near the lake.
  • Supporting the Park’s Environmental Assessment for the Echo Valley Mt. Bike Trail.

Click here to make a donation for one of these projects or our General Fund.


Exploring Track Chairs

A major area of emphasis for Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes is to make Park beaches and trails more accessible to people of varying abilities. We know that it is often difficult for someone to get from the parking lot to a beach or a scenic overlook. So we’ve been exploring a variety of approaches.

We have been working with the Park’s Roads and Trails crew to design a hard walkway from the handicap parking area at the Cannery in Glen Haven to the beach. This will allow families with small children, older visitors, and those in wheelchairs an easier way to get down to the beach. This walkway will be installed before Labor Day.

Hiking with a Track Chair on Bay View Trail

Trails in Sleeping Bear Dunes often have steep slopes or sandy soil, which makes it difficult for some visitors to experience the natural environment or get to some of the spectacular vistas that others can hike to. We’ve been exploring the possibility of purchasing a track chair to make available to visitors with limited mobility. We will be working with Park management to see if we can set up a system to make one of these chairs available in the Park by 2019.

 


Making the Park Accessible to More People

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful place, and one of our goals is to make it more accessible to people of all levels of ability.. Our efforts are focused on awareness, training, and projects to improve access to trails and beaches.


Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (SBHT) is a hard-surface multi-use trail that passes through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from Empire through Glen Arbor to the Bohemian Road (CR-669).


Ski Conditions

We groom the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail from Glen Arbor to Empire when snow conditions allow. Ski conditions will be posted here whenever there is a change in conditions. This winter, we will also groom from Crystal View Trailhead past the Homestead to Port Oneida Road.

Ski conditions will be posted on our web site whenever conditions change.


Snowshoe Hikes

We are inviting all 4th grade classes to come to Sleeping Bear Dunes for a winter snowshoe  experience. We will pay for bus transportation and a team of rangers will lead you on snowshoes through the wintery woods.


Echo Valley Mt Bike Trail

The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes has begun raising funds to support an Environmental Assessment to evaluate the impacts of an proposed Mountain Bike trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.


Explore Shipwrecks

Walking the Lake Michigan Beach can become a history lesson. Shipwrecks appear and get buried by the dynamic nature of the Lake Michigan shoreline due to winds, waves, and currents. Learn more about the history of the area.


Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail

The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is open from Empire (Voice Road) to Glen Arbor (Forest Haven Road). The trail is 10 miles long and the section from Empire to the Dune Climb provides some challenging hills, while the section from the Dune Climb to Glen Arbor offers an easier ride.

The next section from Glen Arbor (Crystal River Input) to Port Oneida Road is open!


Sign Up for our Newsletter

Click the button below to sign up for email newsletter, annual Newsletter Mailing, and/or email Ski Reports

Sign Up Today

Website Design and Development by Pro Web Marketing