The end of November brought us the first official snowfall of the season and we are hoping for much, much more.  Our trail groomers are up and ready to roll (literally) to prepare our trails for cross country and skate skiing.  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 50th Anniversary logo wear gear! 

All of us at Friends are wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season and thank you for making 2020 a memorable year!  

With the holidays fast approaching many of us often look for unique ways to give. Consider making a donation to Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes for a family member. Last year the Johnson family from St. Louis, MO made donations to each of their family member’s favorite parts of the lakeshore. A donation was made to the Sleeping Bear Heritage trail for a brother who loves to run and walk, another was made to the proposed Mountain Bike Trail for a sister who loves mountain biking. 

The Life of the Sleeping Bear is another great gift to give, all profits go to supporting the National Lakeshore. 
Reminisce over photos of a Lake Michigan sunset, a night sky, or a view of the Manitou Islands. Learn more about the geography, First People, and others who shaped the area into what it is today. The Life of the Sleeping Bear will remind you and your gift recipient of this beautiful place that is waiting for your return. Buy it today!  

We currently have three SBHT Kiosk signs available to be dedicated to anyone who donates $500 or more to the Friends and designates their donation for the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.

What about dedicating a bench or a bike Rack to a loved one? Your dedication will be placed along the trail as well as a plaque will be added to the Donor Recognition Area in the Visitor Center.


Thank you for helping us have a successful fundraising event!

The Park granted us use of the Bear Logo for Fundraising efforts and our sale was incredibly successful – we have extended the sale twice!

If you have any questions about an order, please email or for any questions about the fundraiser. 



It’s that time of year where we thank our most valuable members, YOU. The annual newsletter highlights the past year of programming success and shares some exciting news about upcoming projects. Find a copy of the newsletter here if you can’t wait for the mailman to deliver your copy. 

You can also view a PDF version of the Annual Newsletter here. 



Empire Bluffs trail made a HUGE splash as the front page of the December 2020 issue of National Geographic taken by photographer Keith Ladzinski. The article takes a deep look at the issues affecting the great lakes and the people those issues impact plus, exploring how those issues facing the great lakes tell a story about what could happen to lakes around the world.




Ever wander down a beach access road or see some old building footings in the forest and wonder what used to be there? Kim Kelderhouse, Executive Director of Leelanau Historical Society Museum, and her team put together a fascinating article found in the Leelanau Ticker. It details many of our favorite beaches on National Lakeshore. Read the article on the Leelanau Ticker website.

 Interested in learning more about “ghost towns” and other histories around the lakeshore, look to our website for a listing of all our available booklets.

SBHT Ski Trail

Flurries have been spotted along the Lakeshore indicating winter is approaching quickly. If you are a cross-country skier or enjoy snowshoeing, make sure you are in the know when we get enough snow to groom the trails.

Sign up using the Newsletter Form, below, for once-a-week updates on the trail conditions from our grooming crew. Learn more about winter trails on our site.



You can view a recording of the 2020 Annual Membership Meeting and/or sign up for our monthly meeting notifications. Signing up will give you the Zoom access information so you can participate remotely.
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