Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (Michigan Park) is a very special place to me because it evokes my childhood memories. When I was little, my parents would always take my siblings and me for a vacation once a year. We would visit different places in the United States but Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was our favourite destination.
Michigan Park is located in Lower Peninsula, northwest side of Michigan. The park has spectacular beaches, which cover 64 miles along Michigan Lake. The park also has more than 500,000 acres of land, 26 inland lakes, two islands, and numerous sand dunes. The name Sleeping Bear Dunes came from the monumental sand dunes that are found in the park. These sand dunes are very spectacular and are some of the magnificent features in the park. They are homes to numerous wild animals such as deer, rabbit, and coyote. The dunes are quite big and sloppy. In fact, the park has numerous warning signs placed in different locations, which warn visitors to beware of the slope of the dunes. Getting down a dune can be easy but scaring. It is about 450 feet from the top of the dune to the lake. Visitors are usually advised to go down the dune slowly and to avoid throwing rocks down a dune. Going up a dune is extremely exhausting and a person can take up to an hour to go up. This is very ironical since one can go down a dune in less than 10 minutes.
One can sail around the lake using a boat, and enjoy the spectacular view of the dunes right from the lake. Besides, one climbs one of the overlooks erected in the park to have an aerial view of the lake and other features in the park. Some of the breathtaking activities that one enjoys in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore include fishing, canoeing, hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, and kayaking. One can hire a boat or a canoe at the lakeside for fishing or sailing around the lake. Individuals visit Sleeping Bear Dunes for various reasons including team building, bonding sessions, family get-togethers, family vacations, and camping. Therefore, it is common to see a group of people engaging in various activities such as skiing and hiking. Instead of visiting the park alone, it is advisable to go with a couple of friends or family members in order to avoid spending a lot of time watching other people as they have fun in the park.
An afternoon at Sleeping Bear Dunes is an enjoyable moment. It is said that, in the afternoons, the sun is usually only 400 feet above the lake. This gives the lake a very spectacular appearance. The water inside the lake is usually deep blue, with sunrays being reflected inside the water. People lie on the beach in the afternoons to enjoy the view as well as the warm air from the lake.
Apart from the lake and the dunes, the park is surrounded by various towns, which offer accommodation services to visitors willing to spend a few days in the area. The towns offer perfect accommodation for families, friends, schools, and church groups. The accommodation facilities are well designed and they offer visitors an authentic feeling of a lakeside. There are also small inns with fascinating architecture, combining both traditional and modern designs. The hotels surrounding the park offer very delicious local meals. They also serve numerous international dishes in order to cater for visitors from other parts of the world. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a spectacular place where everyone should make an effort to visit, at least once in a lifetime.