Thanksgiving weekend gave us hope for a great snowy winter! A few snowstorms blew through and started to cover our trails. Our trail groomers will be up and ready to roll (literally) by the first big snow to prepare our trails for cross country, skate skiing, and fat-tire biking. As December often is a time for giving, we encourage you to think about supporting the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. Your support helps the Friends maintain park trails, support National Park programs, and work on the development of new trails. A special thank you to everyone who purchased Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear and our 50th-anniversary mugs at the Empire Artisan Marketplace and Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace on Saturday, November 27th. We will have one more table event in December for the perfect opportunity to find the perfect gifts for those on your list who love the lakeshore. 

All of us at Friends are wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season. Thank you for making 2021 a memorable year!  

Join us Outside the Cherry Republic Great Hall in Glen Arbor for a Winter Celebration!

Enjoy FREE hot chocolate and visit with Friends volunteers.

We will have copies of Picture-Perfect Sleeping Bear books, limited-edition 50th Anniversary logo mugs, and stickers-perfect gifts for all those lakeshore lovers on your holiday shopping list.

The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes at Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor on December 11th from Noon to 2 pm and learn more about the Winter Celebration on our website.




We are also looking for financial support to build a new place to store our equipment, like the grooming and trail maintenance equipment! Due to the renovation of the Sleeping Bear Inn, we need to move from the garages there. 
A new, 1600-square-foot storage facility is planned at the Dune Climb to store tools, educational supplies, and equipment including the track chairs and Park’s mobile visitor center. 
Help us make this project happen by making a generous donation by the end of the year. Our target is to raise $30,000 to complete the capital needs for this storage building. Select ‘Dune Center Garage’ when you donate.


The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has been called “The most beautiful place in America” and it needs your help. Our 700+ member organization helps ensure that the more than a million people who visit the dunes each year have a great experience while helping to protect this precious resource.

We are Seeking Grant Writing Volunteers
We are looking for persons with good organizational and interpersonal skills to join our high-functioning all-volunteer organization. Some experience in submitting grant applications would also be very useful.
Learn more about the position here.

Read more about the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes or check out all of our great volunteer opportunities in the park or on our administrative team, visit our Volunteer Page.

Winter on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail is special. Light fluffy snow covering the trees and trail make it ideal for photography, skiing, or snowshoeing through a secluded winter wonderland!

Most of the trail is groomed in the winter with a corduroy base for skate skiing, snowshoeing, and classic tracks on the outside for classic cross-country skiing. Fat tire etiquette, maps of ski trails, and difficulty levels can be found on our winter trails page.

Keep up with the current snow conditions by subscribing to the winter trail updates (Sign-up through the newsletter link below) or visiting the Trail Report Page. Please note dogs are not allowed on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail from Dec. 1st – March 31st. 

Are you an educator or know of an educator looking for a fun gift for your students this holiday season? Give them a free virtual visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes that they’ll never forget!

The Lakeshore has a wide variety of live virtual programs on topics such as glaciers, bear adaptations, Anishinaabe culture, and in-person snowshoe and STEM field trips available. Their calendar still has some availability in December as well as in Spring 2022.

More info about educational programs by the National Park and how to sign up can be found on the National Park Education Page.


This shipwreck gets buried and uncovered depending on the wave action on Lake Michigan. It is currently really exposed on the beach right at the end of the social trail from the corner of Lacore and Voice Roads just north of Empire. The best way to get there is to park in the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail trailhead on Bar Lake Road near Voice Road and walk the trail to the social trail at Lacore. Once you get to Lake Michigan, the shipwreck is just to your left.

Read about the shipwrecks on an article from May 2020 in the Leelanau Ticker.

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