EMPIRE, MICH. — Looking for something new to do while vacationing at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore this summer?
Visitor programs are in full swing for the season at the Lakeshore, marking a return to normal after park programming was suspended for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
From ranger talks at dusk to yoga on the beach to popular Sleeping Bear Star Parties, summer 2022 visitor events highlight the region’s rich history and natural wonders.
Read on to find out what to expect and check out other events in the park’s online calendar, as well as events with Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes and Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear. Remember that a valid park pass is required to enter the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Details here
Twilight Conversations: Join the raingers for evening programming at DH Day Campground & Platte River Campground, weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (except 12/8 and 13/8). Topics are updated weekly. 7:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., from July 3 to September 4. Free. Dates and details here
Stations of the Storm and Lyle Gun Demonstrations: Do you have what it takes to be a US Lifesaving Service surfer? To find out, join the park rangers on Thursdays from 1-3 p.m. at the Maritime Museum to perform a series of “stations” as part of rescue duties from the surfer stationed at Sleeping Bear Point Station. Held every Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Maritime Museum Grounds in Glen Haven. Then stick around for a 15-minute demonstration of the life-saving Lyle Gun, the only gun ever designed to save lives. Held at the Maritime Museum beach at 3 p.m. sharp on Thursday. Free. More details here
Star Parties: After a two-year hiatus from Covid-19, Sleeping Bear’s popular Star Parties are back. Join Park Rangers and the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) for monthly guided explorations of the night sky; each event will have telescopes and information stations that you can visit at your leisure. These events will be canceled if the sky is not visible due to weather conditions. Held at the Dune Climb on July 23, August 22, September 10, September 24 and October 8. Free. Times and details, including parking information, on the Sleeping Bear Dunes schedule here.
Historic Port Oneida Bike Tours: Get an up-close tour of Port Oneida’s rural landscape, including farming, logging, and maritime heritage, as you imagine life in the early 19th century. Hosted by Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear; choose from three circuits, ranging from 4.5 miles to 8 miles. Bring your own bike or rent it for a discount from The Cyclery in Glen Arbor. This program raises funds for the historic preservation and interpretation of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. More information and booking details here
Horse and carriage tours: Step back in time to experience Port Oneida Historic District as they did from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Travel in the footsteps of early pioneers on Port Oneida’s back roads, where you’ll learn history of this important farming community with hills and 18 farms. Held on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting July 7. Organized by Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear. Reservations required. More information and booking details here
yoga on the beach: Hosted by the nonprofit Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, this gentle, all-levels yoga class takes place every Friday morning on the beautiful shore of the Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum Lake. This is a donation-based class that provides funds for park projects; the suggested donation is $10 per class. The 2022 season runs from summer through Labor Day weekend; Classes may be canceled in the event of rain. More details here
Port Oneida Fair: Each August, the rural historic district of Port Oneida awakens from its peaceful slumber and comes alive with activity faithful to when it was a settler community in the late 1800s and early 1990s 1900. The two-day festival features ranger talks, live demonstrations, crafts, food and more. Hosted by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. More details here
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