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Environment and Energy

Discover Michigan’s Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Kim Schneider

When the phrase “wilderness area” is mentioned, you probably don’t picture sharing that spot with, say, 1.7 million people. 

They weren’t all there at once, of course, but that’s how many people last year dropped by the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Correspondent Kim Schneider visits with National Park Ranger, Chief of Interpretation and visitors Services, MerrithBaughman, amid dozens of excited school kids on a field trip at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The “dunes”, as locals call them, have recently received a lot of nationwide attention.

A few years ago, Good Morning America named Sleeping Bear Dunes the most beautiful place in America.

That was probably music to the ears of those in Congress who made the controversial decision back in 1970 to designate Sleeping Bear Dunes as a national lakeshore. Until then, that protection had been reserved for ocean beauty spots like Cape Hatteras and Big Sur. 

This was the first on what some call America’s Third Coast, in this case a 35-mile stretch of sugar sand beach. The sand reaches upward too. These dunes just south of Traverse CityMichigan are the highest mountains of sand in the eastern United States.

The dunes make a great perch for photos toward the park’s two islands–the sleeping bears of the Chippewa legend that inspired the park’s name. The dunes are also fun to climb—for kids of all ages. Listen for the puffs, and maybe a couple of giggles, in Kim’s report.

Kim Schneider, Associate Producer for the NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer on assignment

Associate Producer and correspondent, Kim Schneider is based in Traverse CityMichigan where she writes for several newspapers and magazines, specializing in food, wine and nature travel adventures. Schneider is the recipient of numerous awards, including “Mark Twain Travel Writer of the Year”.   

Kim’s Twitter handle:@traveling_coach  Instagram: travelingcoachkim

Sleeping Bear Dunes Sunset
Credit Kim Schneider
Sunset over the Lake at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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Glen Arbor village near Sleeping Bear Dunes
Credit Kim Schneider
The village of Glen Arbor, Michigan near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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