Spring Volunteer Training Video


Did you miss our annual volunteer orientation? Don’t worry as you can watch it right here!

As a volunteer, or someone who is interested in volunteering, for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, you’ll want to watch this year’s session to catch important information about the Park, the Friends, the best safety practices and updates and volunteer opportunities. By watching this, you’ll have a chance to discover where volunteers are needed and how you can help. You’ll hear from the Friends as well as NPS staff on important information for this upcoming season. 

For additional information on the orientation or on volunteering, visit our Volunteer web page here.



Summer Storm Safety


Summer brings new hazards to Michigan, including severe storms. If you are setting off on a trail or hike that could last several hours, you could be putting yourself in danger without knowing it.  Lightning strikes are relatively rare, but are still extremely dangerous. Here are some steps to take in order to protect yourself and to share with park visitors as appropriate from the American Hiking Association:

  • Be aware.  Check the weather before you start your hike and sign up for weather alerts.
  • Early to mid-afternoon is the most common time for lightning injuries.
  • If you hear thunder, you are at risk.  Lighting can strike from as far as 10 miles away, even if the sky is blue.
  • Seek shelter.  A structure that has electricity and plumbing offer the best protection.  Open, covered areas and shelters offer very little protection.  A solid roof vehicle (no convertibles) will also provide protection.
  • If you are caught  in the wilderness, seek a valley or depression in the land. Avoid trees and other tall objects.  If you  have a backpack with a metal frame or metal hiking poles, make sure  you are at least 100 feet away from them.  If you are with others, make sure that you are also 100 feet apart.
  • Safety position.  Crouch down on the balls of your feet.  Keep your feet together and your head tucked in towards your chest.  Cover your ears with your hands.  Never lie down.
  • You are still in danger until about 30 minutes after the last thunder clap that you hear.
For more information and some first aid advice:

Sleeping Bear Dunes now Cashless

Campground offices and the Visitor Center are staffed and will be open daily throughout the summer. These locations will be CASHLESS. Meaning the park will only be accepting credit cards or checks for payment.  

Due to staffing issues, the entrance stations at Scenic Drive and Dune Climb will be open periodically throughout the summer when staffing allows. 

Iron Rangers (self-pay pipe safes) are located throughout the lakeshore and visitors can pay with cash, credit card or check

    • North of Empire
      • North Bar
      • Maritime Museum
      • DH Day Campground
      • 669 Beach 
      • 651 Beach
    • South of Empire
      • Esch Beach
      • Peterson Beach
      • Platte Picnic Area
      • VenTek Automated Fee Machine at the end of Lake Michigan Rd. (Credit only)
  • Local Vendors also sell park passes and do accept cash and credit cards.  
    • North of Empire
      • Indigo Bluffs RV Park and Resort
      • Crystal River Outfitters
      • The Homestead Resort
      • Manitou Island Transit
      • Leland Lodge
    • South of Empire
      • Honor Trading Post

Spring Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear Book Bundle & Activity Guide

NEW Spring Gift Bundle for Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear!
The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes have created a Spring book bundle as an added bonus when you purchase a copy of Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear! For a limited time, the book is bundled with FREE copies of the wildflower guide, and the newly revised Farms and Cabins and Glen Haven Village booklets. With this bundle you will enjoy hiking around the Sleeping Bear Dunes area and discovering more of the rich history of 13 original farms and cabins located in the park and connecting with the past in the Glen Haven Historic Village on Sleeping Bear Bay. The wildflower guide is a full-color guide of flowers categorized by seasons and location.

A FREE online booklet of puzzles and games is also now available to use with your copy of Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear. Find Geocache treasures, solve the cryptoquote, design your own Instagram photos to earn a prize, complete crisscross puzzles, color and draw your own nature pictures, and solve word scrambles and word searches. Purchase your book today, download the activities, and begin your Picture-Perfect adventure! A $38.95 value for $29.95 plus shipping and handling.

Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear is a delightful collection of stunning photos and endearing stories, contributed by visitors who adore the Lakeshore and compiled by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, highlights what makes the park so special for so many. The book shares the special memories people have made throughout the years as they live and visit this national treasure.


With the purchase of the Spring book bundle, you’ll be supporting projects throughout the Lakeshore. Each year, the Friends provides funds to support various programs and needs across the park. Every purchase of the bundle helps to further those fundraising efforts. To purchase your Spring book bundle, while supplies last, visit https://lifeofthesleepingbear.com/


Social Media and Communications Summer Intern

Join our communications team for a unique opportunity to work with a National Park’s non-profit partner organization (Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes) to help document happenings around the park during the busiest time of year to capture and share the National Lakeshore with all. We are looking for a motivated, enthusiastic, creative intern for FOSBD this summer to help take photos, conduct interviews, post on social media, help with promotions and other related projects.  Please submit cover letter and resume to Laura Ann Johnson comm@friendsofsleepingbear.org by Friday April, 22nd 2022.

Summary of Position: 

The communications and social media intern will work with the communications committee and the Director of Communication to document park happenings throughout the summer.  The candidate will be expected to assist with: photography, social media posting, content creation, and other such related projects. This is a unique opportunity to work with a National Park’s non profit partner organization to help document happenings around the park during the busiest time of year to capture and share the National Lakeshore with all. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Documentation of park and Friends events by taking photos, interviewing, and creating content around the event
  • Promotion of special happenings 
  • Photo cataloging
  • Content creation and social media scheduling
  • Represent Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes and educate visitors

Necessary Skills: 

  •  Excellent organizational skills. 
  •  Excellent communication skills. 
  •  Strong sense of initiative and willingness to take on and create your own projects
  •  Ability to multitask and prioritize various projects. 
  •  Strong attention to detail. 
  •  Excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills. 
  •  Interested in learning about the National Lakeshore and Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. 

Qualifications for the Job:​ To perform this job successfully, you must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and / or ability you are required to possess. Reasonable accommodations may be made, should you have a disability, to allow you to perform the essential functions. 

Position:​ Communications and Social Media Intern

Reports To​: Communications Committee 

Employment Duration:​ June 20th – August 12th 2022 

Seasonal Position: ​32-40 hours / wk 

Location:​ Empire, MI

Compensation: $15 /hr


Earth Day 2021

Earth day reminds us to pause and reflect on the important role our natural world plays in our lives.
What are some ways you can protect natural resources while visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes?

  • Carry a reusable water bottle.
  • Carry out your waste.
  •  Pick up litter when you come across it.
  •  Take only pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

Learn more about how you can Recreate responsibly on the Park’s Website.

And, we always encourage more Friends to join us when they can by donating their time by volunteering with community favorite programs like Adopt-a-Trail, Adopt-a-Beach, Adopt-a-River, and our Trail Ambassadors program, or donating funds to a specific project or the Park’s General Fund

Together we can protect the resources found within the Park. Let’s make earth day, every day!

Spring Merchandise Sale Feedback

The Friends are working on a Spring/Summer sale of 50th Anniversary Merchandise! 

During this sale, we are looking forward to offering more colors and styles of items. There are so many wonderful things to choose from – so we need your help to understand what our dedicated volunteers and friends would like to see. 

Thank You to all who have supported the sale in the fall helping to bring over $40,000 to Park programs. 

Sign-up to our monthly newsletter or follow our social media for the latest updates on the next sale!

Click the images below to see some examples.


Color Options for question 2: 

Merch Feedback
1. Did you purchase any 50th Anniversary Merchandise in the Fall from the Friends? *
2. Which colors would you prefer? *
3. Which items would you like to see with the 50th Logo? (Choose as many as you like)

Kettles in Spring

“After reading the recent Mike Terrell article [in the Record Eagle] about Kettles, my wife and I visited for the first time today. We really enjoyed ourselves and want to express our appreciation to all those involved in creating the excellent trail system. The land has wonderful features and catching it today with all of the spring flowers was special. Having the foresight to preserve it and now make it available for use are remarkable accomplishments.” – David Murphy 







To hike the Kettles Trail, view the Trailhead Page as well as you can find out more about all of the back-country trails within the Lakeshore on our Trails Page.

To learn more about how the Kettles are formed, the Sleeping Bear Dunes NPS website has a wonderful overview of the geological impact on this area. 

This trail would have not been made possible without our volunteers. To learn more about the building of the Kettles Trail, visit our Kettles Program Page. We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to help, sign up to volunteer today! 

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