Sleeping Bear Dunes Celebrates 50th Anniversary

This year marks the 50-year anniversary for one of Michigan’s treasured natural destinations, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is known for its dunes towering 400 feet above Lake Michigan. You can marvel at its beauty in the summer by taking a nice hike along the trails or going for a canoe ride in the lake. If you want to visit in the winter, you can go snowshoeing for a unique experience.

The National Lakeshore has lots of exciting events taking place this year to celebrate. The kickoff event will take place on January 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by the Dune Climb for a fun afternoon featuring snow sculpting, sledding, snowshoeing and some delicious treats, too. The event will also feature ranger-led snowshoe hikes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

In honor of its 50th year, the Sleeping Bear Dunes will also have a commemorative park pass available for purchase for the 2020 calendar year. You can buy one and enjoy all the park has to offer anytime you would like to visit. Before you visit, download the new mobile app, The Sleeping Bear Dunes App, to plan your trip accordingly. You can learn about the history, explore the park and discover some of the hidden secrets of the area.

Here are some fun facts about this beautiful scenic destination:
• The Sleeping Bear Dunes coastline is 50,000 acres long.
• It welcomed its 50 millionth visitor in August 2019 and hosts on average 1.1 million visitors annually.
• The Sleeping Bear Dunes are the largest freshwater sand dunes in the world.
• The park features a ghost forest– an area of trees that have been covered and uncovered by shifting sands.
• The Sleeping Bear Dunes got its name from a legend about a mother bear and her two cubs who were swimming to Michigan to escape fires in Wisconsin.

Grab your snowshoes or hiking boots and get ready for a one-of-a-kind experience in one of the coolest spots in the country.

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Photo credit: Rachel Kramer

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