The Big Sweep by Mark Smith
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was officially authorized on October 21, 1970 making today the 50th birthday of Michigan’s most visited national park. Our Sleeping Bear Dunes History page says in part:
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was established by Act of Congress October 21, 1970. Public Law 91-479 states, “…the Congress finds that certain outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena, exist along the mainland shore of Lake Michigan and on certain nearby islands in Benzie and Leelanau Counties, Michigan, and that such features ought to be preserved in their natural setting and protected from developments and uses which would destroy the scenic beauty and natural character of the area.” The Congress also directed that “…the Secretary (of the Interior) shall administer and protect Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in a manner which provides for recreational opportunities consistent with the maximum protection of the natural environment within the area.”
…The Lakeshore mission is to preserve outstanding natural features including forests, beaches, dunes and ancient glacial phenomena along 100 km (64 miles) of Lake Michigan shoreline, in order to perpetuate the natural setting for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, and to protect it from developments and inappropriate uses that would destroy its scenic beauty, scientific and recreational value.
I know that there’s few people in Leelanau who would disagree that the park has helped to maximally protect our area’s incredible natural beauty with over 60 miles of shoreline open & accessible to all as well as miles of forest, dune & farmland. Head over to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Facebook page for all kinds of 50th Anniversary fun!
Mark took this photo back in 2018. See lots more in his Sleeping Bear/Glen Arbor gallery on Flickr!
More from the Sleeping Bear on Michigan in Pictures!
Miners Castle by Charles Bonham
I always wondered about the whole “miner” thing with Miners River/Falls/Castle in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Miners Falls Trail Guide explains that:
Visited by passing English geologists in 1771-1772, the nearby Miners River was named by employees of Alexander Henry during one of his exploratory trips on Lake Superior. At that time, indicators or “leaders” were used to locate mineral deposits. Discolored water oozing from bedrock was one such leader found in the Miners Basin, although no minerals were ever extracted from this area.
Charles took took this pic last week. See lots more on his Flickr!
Pictured Rocks Caves by Heather Higham
Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library says that on October 7, 1972 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was officially dedicated:
Authorized by Congress in 1966 as the nation’s first national lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore today encompassed over 73,000 acres of multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, wildlife and the forest of the Lake Superior shoreline. Stretching from Munising to Grand Marais, the park is a four season destination attracting everyone from hikers to campers, hunters, and casual visitors. The park is managed by the National Park Service and welcomes over four hundred thousand visitors each year.
Heather took this photo back in 2014. See more in her Pictured Rocks gallery and for sure follow her at SnapHappyMichigan on Instagram & at snaphappygal.com!
Wreck of the Nordmeer by Chris Roxburgh
The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary page on the 471′ cargo freighter Nordmeer that wrecked in 1966 in Thunder Bay says:
The career of the motorship Nordmeer ended abruptly when it miscalculated a turn and ran aground 7 miles northeast of Thunder Bay Island. Some crewmen stayed on board, but they evacuated a few days later when a storm struck and tore open the ship’s bottom. Part of the vessel stands out of the water, but years of storms and ice have broken and twisted the hull. The big diesel engine stands amid the wreckage, but the cargo has been removed. A steel barge rests alongside the wreck, a relic of extensive salvage work. Some artifacts may be seen today at NOAA’s Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center.
Chris dove the wreck a week ago and writes: “Bea and I had a big day of diving in Lake Huron today. We visited three shipwrecks and can’t wait to share some photos. This picture is the engine from the Nordmeer shipwreck near Rockport Michigan.”
Definitely follow Chris’s adventures on Facebook & check out his videos YouTube!
Tons more Michigan shipwrecks on Michigan in Pictures!
Bond Falls – Paulding MI by SueFi Photography
GoWaterfalling should be your go-to site for exploring Michigan waterfalls. Their entry for one of Michigan’s most beautiful waterfalls, Bond Falls near Paulding in the Upper Peninsula, says (in part):
Bond Falls is in the western U.P. on Bond Falls Rd, east of Pauding MI. This is the most impressive waterfall in Michigan with the possible exception of Tahquamenon Falls. The main drop is 40 feet high and 100+ feet wide. Above the main falls are a series of cascades and rapids that must drop a total of 20 feet.
The water level is controlled by a dam, and a steady flow over the falls is maintained for scenic reasons. Of course during the spring melt the flow is much higher.
Bond Fall is a Michigan State Scenic Site. The site was renovated around 2003. The old parking area was upstream of the falls, and a steep concrete stairway led to the base of the falls. The new parking area is near the base of the falls, and a level boardwalk leads you to prime views of the falls. The area is not quite as wild looking as it once was, but it is accessible to everyone. The trail on the east side of the falls is still wild with some steep rocky climbs. There are other trails that go off into the woods, and there are campsites nearby.
In addition to being very picturesque, this is a very popular waterfall, and unless you visit early in the morning or in winter, you are going to have a lot of company.
Sue took this last weekend. See more on her Flickr & definitely follow SueFi Photography on Facebook for more!
Tons more Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!
Reflections by Ayman Haykal
The Seney National Wildlife Refuge:
…was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The wild land that today is the refuge has not always appeared so wild. This is a land that was once heavily logged, burned, ditched, drained and cultivated. Despite repeated attempts, the soils and harsh conditions of this country would not provide a hospitable environment for sustained settlement and agriculture. So, nature claimed it once again. What was viewed as a loss by early 20th century entrepreneurs became a huge gain for the wildlife, natural resources and the people of Michigan’s eastern Upper Peninsula.
Seney National Wildlife Refuge is located in the east-central portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, halfway between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The 95,238 acre refuge encompasses the 25,150 acre Seney Wilderness Area, which contains the Strangmoor Bog National Natural Landmark.
Lots more information at the Seney Refuge website. Ayman took this back in early August. See more on his Flickr!
Swamp Angel by Mark Smith
Mark writes that the nave, altar and the stained glass windows are all in alignment in his photo from the Leo Creek Preserve, a pretty cool outdoor learning laboratory & permaculture garden in Suttons Bay. The mission of Leo Creek Preserve is:
…to use its unique creek, forest, and agricultural spaces to provide, for all people, an outdoor learning laboratory to investigate water and woodland ecology, intensive soil regenerating practices, and to bring art into the garden gathering spaces. We value strengthening our connection to the natural world and bringing people together to work towards a beautiful, healthy, productive and regenerating environment, and sharing its abundance.
Pretty cool! Follow Mark at downstreamer on Flickr for more great photos!
Altar by Bill Dolak
Bill writes “On this, the altar to the last day of summer: the sacrificial leaf that will bring on fall,” so if anyone is sad summer’s over, Bill’s the man to talk to. ;)
Of course if you’re excited for apples, autumn’s colors & of course, pumpkin spice, mad props to Bill! Check out more in Bill’s Kalamazoo River Valley Trail album & enjoy the season!
Grand Sable Dunes Sunrise by Craig Sterken Photography
Craig captured this spectacular sunrise in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore over Grand Sable Dunes on the shores of Lake Superior. Check it out at Craig Sterken Photography on Facebook & also have a look at Craig’s new vinyl stickers for your car windows!