Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore offers snowshoe hikes

From staff reports

Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on snowshoes this winter. Join Park Rangers for a guided snowshoe hike this holiday season and every Saturday throughout the winter. The first hike of the season will be on Thursday, December 29 at 1 p.m. Thereafter, regularly scheduled Saturday snowshoe hikes will start up again on Saturday, January 7 at 1 p.m. Meet at the National Lakeshore Visitor Center in Empire. If you do not have your own, snowshoes will be loaned out at no charge.

Inside the Visitor Center, Park Rangers will first provide basic snowshoeing instructions and then everyone will travel by car to the trailhead or area of the National Lakeshore pre-selected for that day. Once there, the Park Ranger will help participants learn about the park’s unique features and winter’s effect on them by exploring and discovering clues on site. Be prepared and plan to be outside until about 3 p.m. Dress in layers and wear waterproof boots to be most comfortable.

Not only is snowshoeing easy, fun, and good exercise, it is also an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. The Park Ranger-led hikes are mildly strenuous, yet they proceed at a leisurely pace for only one and a half miles at the most.

Since the National Park Service has a supply of snowshoes for use within the National Lakeshore, participants need only purchase the park entrance pass or have an annual pass to join in the fun. Reservations are required. Park Ranger-led snowshoe hikes are limited to 30 participants.

For more information, please call the National Lakeshore at (231) 326-5134, extension 328, for details and to make reservations or visit the website at Also, check out their Facebook page at

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