The MyNorth.com Guide to August Sleeping Bear Dunes Events

Sleeping Bear Dunes: Just a short drive from Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has many events planned for the month of August, from runs to free programs for the kids– making a trip out to the dunes a must!

Port Oneida 5K Run

Saturday August 4

The "Kids Schoolhouse Dash" begins the race day with a 1/2 mile run. After that is finished tie your laces and prepare to run (or walk) the Barn to Barn trail. Enjoy the scenic loop and support the preservation of Port Oneida! For more information or to register go to the Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear website.

“Inside the Barns and Farms of Port Oneida”

Tuesday August 7

10 am – 4 pm

Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear offers a tour of one of the largest and most unique historic agricultural areas in the nation. A two-hour tour of old barns and farmsteads that tell of 1800s history. Featuring retired park ranger Bill Herd, one of the area's great storytellers. For more information click here.

Free Summer Ranger Programs

August 1-9

These summer programs are put on by the park and appeal to a variety of ages! As well as learning something cool and historic about an aspect of Sleeping Bear Dunes these programs are also free! Check out the list below to see what is scheduled on each day.

Sunday

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.   Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

4:00 pm Beaches, Forests, and Dunes, Oh My Hike along the beach, explore life in the dunes, and then venture into the forest.                           Cannery, Glen Haven, 1 mile, 1.5 hours

8:00 pm Evening Program–Guardians of the Night Come learn the “who’s who” of one of the park’s most mysterious, silent predators of the night. It’s guaranteed to be a real hoot.                         Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Women on the Great Lakes Men have been sailors, fur traders, fisherman, lighthouse keepers, ship captains, and more on these Great Lakes. So where were the women? You are invited to hear some of their stories. D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Monday

10:00 am Junior Ranger Romp Explore a meadow, search for insects, birds, and signs of other wildlife. Find out how animals, and you, are part of the ecosystem. For the young and young-at-heart. Children must be accompanied by an adult.                                                                                                                                 Dune Climb, less than 1 mile, 1 hour.

1:00 pm Dunes in Motion How did this 110-ft dune and all of its neighbors get here? Where are they going? Find out at this fast, fun talk.   Dune Climb, 15 min.

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.                                                                        Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Bear-ly There Learn the “bear” necessities of the black bear that inhabits Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.                                                                  Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Animal Mysteries Bring your detective skills and unravel the clues wildlife leave behind. Tracks, scat, skulls, and animal skins are all part of the fun!                             D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Tuesday

1:00 pm Dunes in Motion How did this 110-ft dune and all of its neighbors get here? Where are they going? Find out at this fast, fun talk.   Dune Climb, 15 min.

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.                                                                       Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

4:00 pm A Dangerous Passage Shipwrecks were common in the early days of travel on Lake Michigan. Their stories take us back to a time of heroism and bravery.                   Sleeping Bear Point Trailhead, past Maritime Museum in Glen Haven, 1 hour.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Beacons of Hope It is said that sailors feared the Great Lakes more than they did the seas. Come discover the heroes, perils, and mysteries of Lake Michigan.           Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Sleeping Bear Showdown Play on your own, or join a team to pit your park smarts against other visitors. The victors of this trivia competition will walk away with prizes.        D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Wednesday

10:00 am Ghosts of Port Oneida Past Who once came here with hopes and dreams of a new life? Remnants of their lives still linger in the old barns, fields, houses and cemeteries left behind.                                                                                                                                                                                                          Take M-22 to Port Oneida Road, approximately 1.5 miles to farm on left with two white houses, 1 mile, 1.5 hours.

1:00 pm Dunes in Motion How did this 110-ft dune and all of its neighbors get here? Where are they going? Find out at this fast, fun talk.   Dune Climb, 15 min.

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.                                                                    Maritime Museum, 30 min.

5:00 pm Aliens Among Us! Biking the Backroads   Brush up on your natural and cultural history in this less-visited corner of the park, and learn how alien invaders (plants, insects, fish) hitchhiked around the world to cause problems of historical proportions in the Great Lakes. Bring your own bicycle.   M-22 and Stormer Rd, 1.5 miles south of Empire, 9 miles, 2.5 hours.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Surrounded by Sand From the Dune Climb to the beaches, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a sandy place! Learn the story of sand–where it all came from, what it’s doing now, and why it is so much more than just a big dune to play on.                                                                                                          Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Stories of Your Stars Meet before the sun sets to plan an evening of stargazing.Discover the locations and legends of stars in the night sky. D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Thursday

11:00 am Ride to the Dune Climb Ride the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail from Glen Arbor, into the forests of the National Lakeshore, passing through the maritime district of Glen Haven, and ending at everyone’s favorite spot.                                                                                                                                                  SBHT Glen Arbor Trailhead on Forest Haven Drive, 4.5 miles one way, 1.5 hours.

1:00 pm Dunes in Motion How did this 110-ft dune and all of its neighbors get here? Where are they going? Find out at this fast, fun talk.   Dune Climb, 15 min.

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.                                                                      Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

3:30 pm Lyle Gun Demonstration Firing starts in July when piping plovers chicks have fledged. Watch a live, black powder firing of the Lyle Gun, a line-throwing cannon, that was used by the U.S. Lifesaving Service and U.S. Coast Guard for over 75 years to rescue thousands of shipwreck victims.                                             Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Life in the Dunes How much do you know about the special places and creatures that make Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore their home? Join a park ranger to test your knowledge and learn more about the local residents.                                                                                                                         Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Living on the Edge People have inhabited the Sleeping Bear region since the glaciers left this land, but if the dunes could talk, what stories would they whisper? Discover the tales of those who called this land home and those who still come today.                                                                                                        D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Friday

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.                                                                    Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

4:00 pm Take a Walk on the Wild Side Discover the wild side of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Easy access into wilderness where wildlife sightings are often reported.                Old Indian Trailhead, 13.5 miles south of Empire on M-22, 2.5 miles, 2 hours.

8:00 pm Evening Program– Sleeping Bear Showdown Play on your own or join a team to pit your park smarts against other visitors. The victors of this trivia competition will walk away with prizes.        Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Wild about Wilderness What is Wilderness? Where is Wilderness? What can you do there, and how is it different from the rest of Sleeping Bear Dunes?                             D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Saturday

10:00 am The Great Meltdown Tiptoe through the blowouts and hike to the crest of the dunes for inspiring views. Picture the ancient glaciers that formed this landscape, and experience the forces that still shape this land today.                                                                                                                                 Cottonwood Trail, #4 stop on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, 1.5 miles, 1.5 hours.

1:00 pm Dunes in Motion How did this 110-ft dune and all of its neighbors get here? Where are they going? Find out at this fast, fun talk.   Dune Climb, 15 min.

3:00 pm Heroes of the Storm This re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue is designed for children of all ages.                                                                     Maritime Museum, Glen Haven, 30 min.

4:00 pm Land of Delight Hike a trail through amazing landscapes shaped by glaciers for a spectacular view.                                                                                          Empire Bluff, 1.5 miles, 1.5 hours.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Wild about Wilderness What is Wilderness? Where is Wilderness? What can you do there, and how is it different from the rest of Sleeping Bear Dunes?                           Platte River Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

8:00 pm Evening Program–Beacons of Hope It is said that sailors feared the Great Lakes more than they did the seas. Come discover the heroes, perils, and mysteries of Lake Michigan.           D.H. Day Campground Amphitheater, 45 min.

Port Oneida Picnic

Friday August 10

5-8 pm

The 2nd Annual old fashioned chicken dinner helps keep the Port Oneida Fair free! Buy your tickets today so that after a day of exploring the fair you can sit down to a meal that includes half of a chicken, potato salad, corn on the cob, roll, beverage and dessert. Click here to buy tickets (you must buy in advance to eat!!)

Port Oneida Fair

August 10-11

10 am- 4 pm

Just 4 miles north of Glen Arbor come and celebrate the history of Port Oneida (the largest intact historic agricultural district in the United States that is fully protected within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore) at this cultural fair! Demonstrations, live animals, exhibits and more! For more information go to the Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear website.

Dune Dash

August 18

Dig your toes into the dunes and push off into a fun and challenging race across this mountain of sand. The course takes you through the "Most Beautiful Place in America!" Keep that in mind if you are feeling a little winded. To register and learn more click here!

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