Track Chair Reservation

The 2022 Track Chair season is now closed. 

 

The below information pertains to the Summer 2022 Track Chair Program through the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. This information may be updated prior to the 2023 season. 

 

Track Chair Hikes are Currently available Friday through Monday in the Summer within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. 

If as a guest you would like your host to wear a mask, especially during the training for chair use please ask.

 

COSTS:

There is no cost for using the Track Chair, but all visitors to the park are required to have a National Park Pass. Park passes are available at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore Visitor Center as well as at the Dune Climb and Pierce Stocking Drive.  The Track Chairs were purchased by the Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes. If you would like to make a contribution, you may make a donation to the Track Chair Program. Donations will go to chair maintenance and to adding more track chairs to the Dunes. We accept cash or checks made out to Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes designating the Track Chair Program. 

USER RESPONSIBILITY: 

  • We recommend that you plan to hike with a companion. Minors are required to have an adult companion over the age of 18.
  • Arrive to meet the Track Chair Host on time at the designated location per your reservation
  • Complete necessary forms including waiver as outlined below.
  • Remain in visual contact with the Track Chair Host for safety 
  • Be certain trash and debris is cleaned from the chair
  • Return the Track Chair in the condition it was taken out, minus normal wear and tear 

SAFETY:
As with all trail users, we suggest that Track Chair Users and those accompanying them bring: water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, necessary medication and medical equipment, cell phone, hat, seat cushion, weather appropriate clothing – including an extra layer for changing weather. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE ON A TRAIL WITHOUT IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO BACKUP MEDICATION AND MEDICAL EQUIPMENT. Maximum weight for the largest Track Chair – Mama Bear – is 350 pounds with equipment. Mama Bear is 24 inches wide between arm rests. Maximum weight for the smallest Track Chair – Baby Bear – is 300 pounds with equipment. Baby Bear is 18 inches wide between arm rests.
Both Mama Bear and Baby Bear are used on the Bay View Trail.
Platte Bear which is new this year will be at the Railroad Grade Trail.  It is 22 inches wide and the maximum weight is 300 pounds with equipment.
Learn about the difference in the chairs here. 

The Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes and/or the Track Chair Host may cancel the reservation for any reason. 

TRANSFER ASSISTANCE:
Track Chair Users should bring any transfer items they typically use. Transfer slide boards are not currently available. If the Track Chair User requires physical assistance with transferring, a companion must assist. Track Chair Program Hosts are limited in the amount of personal/physical assistance they can provide. 

PETS:
As required by the National Lakeshore, all pets must be on a leash. Because the Track Chair requires attention to changing terrain and conditions, it is recommended that pets not join in the Track Chair hike. If pets join you, they must be handled by a companion. Animals must be kept leashed and under control at all times. Service Dogs are welcome and may be used as deemed appropriate by the owner; leash required. 

TRAILS:
The Track Chair Program currently runs on specific trails. The Track Chair may only be used on the designated trail. Operating the Track Chair on a trail not designated is not allowed. Track Chairs must remain on the marked trail. They may not be taken off the trail into wooded areas. They may not be taken down banks or hills that are in the area but not on the marked trail. Going off the designated trail or down banks or hills that are not on a marked trail causes environmental damage and may pose a danger to the user and their companions.
On the Railroad Grade Trail, the trail goes over a dune to the beach, but the chair cannot go into the water.

SEATBELTS/HARNESSES.
Track Chair seatbelts must be worn while operating the chair. Harnesses are dependent on Track Chair User needs. 

Please review the information about the different Track Chairs prior to requesting a reservation as the correct chair must be reserved for your hike. 

  1. Mama Bear Chair – Mama Bear is 24 inches wide between arm rests. The maximum weight for the Mama Bear chair is 350 pounds with equipment.
  2. Baby Bear Chair – The Baby Bear is 18 inches wide between arm rests. The maximum weight for the Baby Bear Chair is 300 pounds with equipment. 
    Both Mama Bear and Baby Bear are used on the Bay View Trail.
  3. Platte Bear Chair – Platte Bear which is new this year will be at the Railroad Grade Trail. 
    It is 22 inches wide and the maximum weight is 300 pounds with equipment.

Visit our Calendar Scheduling Page to reserve a Track Chair. 

Use our calendar to find an available date and time per the location you would like to hike to meet your Friends of Sleeping Bear Volunteer for orientation with the Track Chair.

The scheduling page also provides instructions on how to reserve both chairs at the same time on the Bay View Trail. 

 

In order to use the Track Chair, you must fill out a Waiver before your orientation. 

1. An Online fillable form that can be completed when you make a reservation. 
 
2.  If you are unable to access the online fillable form – you may print a waiver form and complete it. Please bring it with you on the day of your hike.

FILLABLE WAIVER 

PDF WAIVER

 

If you would like your host to wear a mask especially during the training for chair use please ask.

Once you fill out the reservation form an email confirmation will be sent. If the Track Chair Team has questions about your reservation, you will be contacted. Otherwise, we will be in contact with you at least 24 hours prior to your Track Chair Hike to let you know who your host will be and provide you with further information. If you have any questions contact us at trackchair@friendsofsleepingbear.org

The track chair program is meant to be used by park visitors who need hiking assistance to experience a rustic hiking trail. Because of limited availability, it may only be reserved by those who find it difficult to experience the designated trail without assistance.
Please review the Chair and safety information outlined above as well as bring the Waiver with you on the day you visit the Park. 

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