Dune Days at Sleeping Bear

Dune Days by Mark Smith

Mark took this beautiful photo a couple of summers ago on the Treat Farm Trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Guessing it looks much the same today, but you should check it out just to be sure! ūüėČ

Head over to Mark’s Flickr for more & here’s the Park’s writeup on the trail:

The trail that leads from the corner of Norconk Road into the woods is about ¬Ĺ mile long through the maple-beech forest and will take you to the Treat Farm. As you reach the top of the hill, the canopy of trees opens up to a view of the farmstead. A portion of the original barn has been rebuilt on the original foundation.

Visitors are drawn to this intriguing farmstead for several reasons. The trail leading up the slight incline from Norconk Road holds an allure of its own… it seems to beckon passers-by. It piques the curiosity by conjuring visions of what might be at its terminus. It is also one of the most beautiful areas for spring wildflowers in all of Michigan!

Click for trail map & check out more great Michigan trails on Michigan in Pictures.

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Heading down to the beach on Warren Dunes

Heading down to the beach - Warren Dunes by Mark Swanson

Heading down to the beach – Explore by Mark Swanson

Pure Michigan says that Warren Dunes State Park:

…provides 1,952 acres of recreational opportunities along the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan in southwestern Michigan. The rugged dune formation rises 260 feet above the lake and offers spectacular views and excellent for hang gliding. The park has three miles of shoreline, six miles of hiking trails and is open year-round. Pet-friendly shoreline.

Wikipedia adds that:

The dunes and beach area was preserved by a local businessman, Edward K. Warren, who originally purchased the site as a favor to a friend who had encountered significant financial difficulties. By 1930, the Warren Dunes area had been taken over as a state park

Head over to the Warren Dunes State Park website for trail maps, camping reservations & more.

Mark took this photo last weekend. See more in his June 2020 gallery.

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Michigan State Parks announce Covid-19 policy changes

Dune Climbers by Bill Dolak

Dune Climbers by Bill Dolak

The Michigan DNR has announced that although state parks and recreation areas remain open to provide residents with local opportunities to get outdoors, extensive travel should be minimal & effective social distancing is required so that unsafe conditions do not develop and state-managed lands can remain open.

‚ÄúWe are doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of visitors and staff at state parks and recreation areas,‚ÄĚ said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. ‚ÄúNo matter how people are choosing to get outdoors, it is critical that everyone follows the social distancing guidelines. If they don‚Äôt, we will be forced to close public access to all state-managed lands.‚ÄĚ

Closures and reduction in services include

Many park amenities have been closed in order to minimize the chance of people gathering in groups and/or maximize the environment for effective social distancing. Current closures include, but are not limited to, concessions, playgrounds and play equipment, viewing platforms, fishing piers, GaGa ball bits, volleyball and basketball courts, designated dog areas, disc golf courses, radio-controlled flying fields, pump tracks, and picnic tables and shelters.

All bathroom buildings and vault toilets will be closed in all state parks and recreation areas, including those at campgrounds, boating access sites, trailheads at state-designated trails, etc. People are encouraged to plan accordingly to avoid needing a restroom during a visit. Note: Over the next few days, vault toilets will be closing. Many locations, where available, will be transitioning to portable toilets that will be cleaned by local vendors.

There will be minimal trash service available. Visitors are encouraged to bring trash bags, if needed, to carry trash home and minimize litter.

No hand washing stations will be provided. Please carry hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes containing at least 60% alcohol, as well as trash bags to carry out used wipes.

Additionally, grooming of snowmobile trails (the season closes March 31) and grooming, brushing, grading and clearing of all nonmotorized trails and ORV trails are suspended until at least the end of the order. When out on any trail, be aware of surroundings, including the potential for washouts or debris. To report anything that could be a risk to other trail users, call 517-331-0111.

Follow the DNR’s COVID-19 response webpage for the latest closure information related to events, meetings and facilities, including campgrounds, harbors and other sites.

Bill took this photo last October at Van Buren State Park near South Haven. See many more incredible shots in his Drone the Sixth – DJI Phantom 4 Advanced album on Flickr!

See photos and read about many of Michigan’s state & national parks on Michigan in Pictures!

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Morning on the Dunes

Morning on the Dunes, photo by Owen Weber

Here’s a phenomenal shot of the sunrise on Glen Lake from atop the dunes in the¬†Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

View Owen’s photo bigger and see more in his Michigan album.

Textures of Sleeping Bear Dunes

Textures, photo by JamesEyeViewPhotography

View the photo from the Sleeping Bear Dunes¬†background bigtacular,¬†see more in James’¬†The Great Lakes slideshow, and follow James Eye View Photography on Facebook.

Does Nordhouse Dunes have Michigan’s Best Sunrise?

Nordhouse Dunes Sunrise, photo by Shane Blood Photography

That’s the question the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area Facebook page asked¬†Michigan in Pictures on Facebook. It’s a good question. Click over and let them know what you think!

The Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area:

…is a Federally designated wilderness in Michigan’s lower peninsula and encompasses 3,450 acres of National Forest. Nordhouse Dunes is part of the Ludington Dune Ecosystem, which also includes Lake Michigan Recreation Area, and Ludington State Park. The dunes were formed 3,500 to 4,000 years ago and stand up to 140 feet high. Ludington Dune Ecosystem has the largest area of fresh water interdunal ponds in the world. The interdunal ponds, small water holes and marshes, decorate the area. Dune grass covers many of the dunes and provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

The Nordhouse Dunes are interspersed with woody vegetation such as juniper, jack pine and hemlock. Plant life is varied and includes the Federally Endangered Pitcher’s Thistle. The sand beach along the lake varies from narrow to wide and is home to the Federally Endangered Piping Plover, a shore bird that nests on the ground in small cobbles.

The wilderness area is popular for hiking, camping, hunting, nature study and wildlife viewing. There are approximately 10-miles of trail that can be accessed from 2 developed trailheads at the end of Nurnberg Road and Lake Michigan Recreation Area.

View the photo bigger and head over to Shane Blood Photography on Facebook for more shots from Nordhouse Dunes.

More Michigan sunrises on Michigan in Pictures!

Michigan’s Tallest: Sand Dunes Edition

Empire Bluff, photo by Pantheos

The author¬†of my favorite Michigan blogs writes¬†that¬†Michigan is blessed with some of the most beautiful and tallest coastal sand dunes on the planet.¬†He decided to climb some and put together a big old list of 87 Michigan’s ‘skyscraper’ Coastal Dunes¬†that he could verify at 100′ or more in height.

This photo is from the tallest one, the 526-foot¬†Empire Bluff Dune in the¬†Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (which includes many of the tallest). To put this in perspective, it’s almost exactly 200′ shorter that our tallest building, the¬†Renaissance Center in Detroit as well as One Detroit Center and the¬†Penobscot, but it’s taller than the 4th highest – the Guardian Building.

More photos and a list of all the dunes on the post, including the option to follow!

More dunes on Michigan in Pictures.

Feeling Free at Pierce Stocking

feeling-free

Feeling Free, photo by Matt Kazmierski

Few places in Michigan have the expansive view of the Lake Michigan overlook on Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive¬†in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It’s 450′ feet down to the water, so remember that freedom comes at a price!

View Matt’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Warren Dunes in black & white

warren-dunes

Warren Dunes, photo by Mark Swanson

Warren Dunes State Park¬†has three miles of shoreline and six miles of hiking trails on nearly 2000 acres. It is open year-round, and the¬†centerpiece is the¬†dune formation that rises 260 feet above the lake and offers¬†spectacular views. It’s also our busiest state park!

View Mark’s photo bigger and see more in his Michigan – Black & White slideshow.

More about Edward K Warren & Warren Dunes on Michigan in Pictures.

Silver Dunes, Remains

Silver Dune, Remains, photo by Charles Bonham

View Charles’ photo background big and see more in his Silver Lake Sand Dunes slideshow.