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Blog

Notes From A South Manitou Island Lighthouse Keeper

Posted by Mary W on 26th Jul 2019

Nature's Way From The South Manitou Island LighthouseBy Jonathan SchechterThe landscape that is now Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is rightfully described as a masterpiece of ice, wind and water. It came into existence some 13,000 years ago as the last great glacier retreated leaving behind a raw landscape that gave birth to our Great Lakes and the rugged moraines along the western shore of northwest Lower Michigan. And then as winds howled, and waves crashed against the shores for hundr ...

Spring in Northern Michigan

Posted by bob on 19th Mar 2015

Ice formations on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Sleeping Bear Bay After a long, cold winter, spring is coming to northern Michigan! While there is still a chill in the air and doubtlessly more snow before summer, the sun is noticeably warmer and the piles of snow and ice are melting. If you picture spring in northern Michigan, you probably imagine blue skies, cherry blossoms, and tulips and daffodils. We're a long way from any of that right now. While we've had some beautiful, sunny days ...

Hiking Beautiful Alligator Hill

Posted by bob on 22nd Oct 2014

The breathtaking Islands Lookout on Alligator Hill affords a spectacular view of Sleeping Bear Bay, the Manitou Islands, and South Fox Island. Alligator Hill is an often overlooked jewel in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Its nine miles of hiking trails loop their way through some of the most beautiful landscapes in northern Michigan. Located smack in the middle of Glen Arbor, Alligator Hill has been driven past by almost every up north visitor. Driven over the Glen Lake Narro ...

Hiking to North Manitou Island

Posted by bob on 7th Mar 2014

Hiking back from North Manitou Island towards the Crib with Pyramid Point in the distance. On Thursday, March 6th, 2014, we attempted something that hasn't been done for 40 years: to hike the treacherous ice across the Manitou Passage to the islands 8 miles out. In the 1970’s, Bob's father and two brothers left the shore in Glen Arbor early one morning to attempt the crossing. They were cut off by open water a mile from South Manitou. Their hike took so much longer than planned that Bob's ...

Ice Caves of Lake Michigan

Posted by bob on 18th Feb 2014

The wild winter this year has brought frigid temperatures, mountains of snow, and large waves to the Republic. We can now add ice caves to that list! The spectacular formations on Lake Michigan have been caused by the way the lake has frozen this year: a mixture of sudden freezing caused by historic low temperatures, a gradual pileup of pack ice, and wave action adding freezing spray to the equation. The results are stunning: cavernous caves, precipitous cliffs, and an ice pack stretching ...