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Home > Dog Friendly Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Michigan

Dog Friendly Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Michigan

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Michigan 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a United States National Lakeshore located along the northwest coast of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan in Leelanau County and Benzie County. The park covers a 35-mile (60-km) stretch of Lake Michigan's eastern coastline, as well as North and South Manitou Islands. This northern Michigan park was established primarily because of its outstanding natural features, including forests, beaches, dune formations, and ancient glacial phenomena. The Lakeshore also contains many cultural features including the 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations and an extensive rural historic farm district. In 2011, the park was named by ABC's Good Morning America as the "Most Beautiful Place in America".

The park is named after a Chippewa legend of the sleeping bear. According to the legend, an enormous forest fire on the western shore of Lake Michigan drove a mother bear and her two cubs into the lake for shelter, determined to reach the opposite shore. After many miles of swimming, the two cubs lagged behind. When the mother bear reached the shore, she waited on the top of a high bluff. The exhausted cubs drowned in the lake, but the mother bear stayed and waited in hopes that her cubs would finally appear. Impressed by the mother bear's determination and faith, the Great Spirit created two islands (North and South Manitou Island) to commemorate the cubs, and the winds buried the sleeping bear under the sands of the dunes where she waits to this day. The "bear" was a small tree-covered knoll at the top edge of the bluff that, from the water, had the appearance of a sleeping bear. Wind and erosion have caused the "bear" to be greatly reduced in size over the years.

Pet Rules and Regulations at Sleeping Bear Dunes
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore welcomes you and your pets to enjoy the park together. Like most outdoor activities within a National Park area, there are some rules and regulations that apply to having a pet with you. These have been established for the safety and enjoyment of both visitors and pets alike. Violation of these rules and regulations could result in receiving a federal Violation Notice which includes a fine and a possible appearance in federal court.

       Dog on Sleeping Bear Dunes Beach Lighthouse at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Trained assistance dogs accompanying impaired persons are permitted throughout the Lakeshore. Pets are generally permitted within the Lakeshore except in certain limited areas designated as "no-pet" areas. These areas can be identified by a "No Pets" sign and by referencing the map. A small percentage of the park has been closed to pets for the protection of wildlife and to ensure the enjoyment of all park visitors.
       Sleeping Bear Dunes Covered Bridge Sleeping Bear Dunes Beach - Michigan
Leashed pets are allowed on these beaches
   From Platte River Campground / Railroad Grade trail north to Peterson Road.
   From Esch Road north to the Lakeshore boundary (south of Empire).
   From the Lakeshore boundary north of Empire to just south of the North Bar Lake stream outlet.
   From Maritime Museum east (but not on the Maritime Museum grounds) to the Lakeshore boundary
   From the Lakeshore boundary north of Glen Arbor around Pyramid Point to CR 669.
   From CR 651 north to the Lakeshore northern boundary.

For additional information, go to the Sleeping Beer Dunes National Lakeshore Website:



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