The trails and Park are OPEN.
For those who live in the area around the Park, we would like to promote safe visitation on the trails and lakeshore. We know the trails and shorelines within the park are a great resource to stay active and healthy during these times and we would like to reiterate some helpful guidelines to keep the community safe.
Please respect the spirit of Gov. Witmer’s Executive Order on March 23, 2020, to Stay Home, Stay Safe:
“Michiganders may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so.
Additionally, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited. People may leave the house to engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household“
- Above all, follow Social Distancing Protocols as directed by the State of Michigan and the CDC.
This includes proper trial etiquette: maintain a six-foot distance from others, avoid gatherings of people outside of those in your household, walk and ride on the right side of the trail and pass on the left. Please consider the entire trail system when visiting, hiking on less-populated trails.
- Plan ahead when visiting. This time of year the weather on the lakeshore can change quickly. Please bring adequate layers and outdoor apparel. Trails are still icy and snow-covered in locations where there is heavy tree cover. We advise wearing hiking boots and even bringing hiking poles when visiting some of the back-country trails. Please also be advised that the high water level has made some of the shoreline dangerous due to bluff erosion.
- Limited National Park Staff will be within the Sleeping Bear Dunes Lakeshore including Law Enforcement and facilities staff. Do not hike down the following hazardous dunes/bluffs: Empire Bluff, The Dune Overlook at the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, and Pyramid Point. Steep slopes present an increased risk for landslides, and sheer drops may be encountered near the bottom of the slopes as the lake is very high and has eroded the bluffs.
Rescue services may be unavailable and will take away resources from the health care system.
- All Park toilets have been closed to help preserve PPE resources that Park Staff would need to wear while cleaning them. GO before you Go!
- Leave No Trace: this means please take the snacks, food packaging, and anything else you brought with you when you leave the Park. Also, leave what you find. This includes any flora, fauna, stones, and sand as it is illegal to remove any natural resource from inside the National Park.
- The Phillip A. Hart Visitor Center and park campgrounds will remain closed until further notice. You can find more from the Park on the Current Conditions page of their website.
- Stay at home if you feel sick and wash your hands often.
(BYO-hand sanitizer when visiting the Park).
From the National Park Service: So that we may best serve the American public and maintain parks as a resource and refuge during this difficult time, parks with open space areas will remain available to the public where it is safe.