Support the SBHT

The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes operate and maintain the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. That requires volunteers AND funds! It requires about $1,000/mile of trails each year to maintain the trail. That means about $20,000/year!

Donate to our Trail Operations Fund. 

Dedicate your donations to a project or location in the park and see your funds at work! 

Support the Sleeping Bear Trail

Donations toward the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail can be classified in two ways:

  1. Support the operation and maintenance of existing segments of trail.
    Donated funds are used to purchase and maintain equipment (Gator, groomers, mowers, blowers, chainsaws, hand tools etc.) and to purchase consumables like gasoline. By donating here, you will help us keep the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in excellent condition for the thousands of visitors that use the trail every year. Donations of $1,000 or more are listed on a plaque inside the Park Visitor Center in Empire.

  2.  Support building the next segment of trail.
    TART Trails is the fundraising partner of the SBHT. Donated funds are used pay for design, engineering, and construction of the next segment of trail, including asphalt, boardwalk, signage, etc. By donating you will be part of creating a legacy for future generations to enjoy. Recognition of gifts of $1,000 or more are listed on the Donor Plaza at the main SBHT trailhead at the Dune Climb. This Donor Plaza will be there as long as the trail is there.
    For more information about the trail and to make a donation, visit

Ken Rosiek built all 14 trail benches.

Donate to Install a Bench

Sponsorship of benches are available for a donation of $2,500, With the donation, your name or the name of the person you honor will be listed on a Donor plaque at the Visitor Center and with the name of the bike rack or bench selected.
The benches are made by volunteers. All benches when installed will have hardened accessible pads that allow for companion seating for people in a wheelchair.

We have only 4 benches still available to be sponsored at this time:

  • Bloodroot – along M-109 near Shauger Hill Road (south of the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive)
  • Spring Beauty – south of the Group Campground (north of the Dune Climb and south of Glen Haven)
  • Milkweed – at the end of Dune Valley Road (north of the Dune Climb and south of Glen Haven)

When the new segment of the trail is built (2025), there will be additional benches available.

Bike Racks at Glen Haven Beach

Donate to Install a Bike Rack 

We have several bike racks available in need of sponsorship. Most are in Glen Haven, but there is one at the Kelderhouse Cemetery near Port Oneida Road and the Charles Olson Farm. With a donation of $2,500, a bike rack will be placed at a mutually agreed visitor destination near the trail, and you or the person you designate will be listed in a Donor Recognition plaque in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Visitor Center. The bike racks are made by the blacksmiths working at the Glen Haven Blacksmith Shop. 

Friends Volunteers_SBHT_DuneClimb

Volunteer – Become a Trail Ambassador or join the Trail Crew

Trail Ambassadors regularly use the trail and assist visitors with questions and safety-related issues. Trail Crew does maintenance like removing downed trees, mowing, clearing leaves and branches, and ski grooming. If you are interested in volunteering for the SBHT Trail Team, register as a volunteer and click the box for Heritage Trail Ambassador or Heritage Trail Crew. Someone from our staff will contact you.

In Memory or In Honor of Donations

The National Park Service doesn’t allow any memorial plaques on benches or other places in the National Lakeshore. Alternatively, we have named the benches and bike racks and recognize donors in the donor center. This recognition, of trail benches, is for 10 years. After that, the bench is available for someone else to sponsor. “In memory of…” would reside on the Donor Recognition plaque in the Park Visitor Center in Empire. You can donate directly and include your message on our Donation Page

If you donate $1,000 or more to building the next segment of the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, “In memory of…” would reside on the Donor Plaza at the Dune Climb forever (or as long as the trail is there…).  For more information about the trail and to make a donation, visit

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