Sleeping Bear Dunes Prepares for Busy Summer after Record Breaking May

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore just set a record for number of visitors in the month of May with more than 110,000.

This comes after the park welcomed a record number of visitors in 2020.

A pandemic-driven record-breaking number of visitors last year, could give way to a similar trend this year.

“May was big. We’re up almost 60 percent this calendar year, January February, March all with large numbers. We anticipate if the weather holds like it is right now, June, July, August are going to be record numbers as well,” said Lakeshore Superintendent Scott Tucker.

And with big numbers expected, the park hopes to avoid issues they saw last year with crowds, especially when it comes to parking and garbage.

“Our big ask is to plan like a park ranger, recreate responsibly. Packing your trash, take it home with you. If you see a piece of trash on the ground, pick it up. If you come to a trailhead that is packed with cars, maybe go find a new trailhead or a new adventure in the Lakeshore,” said Tucker.

And people who live in empire agree with that message.

“We hope that people will respect the park and leave no trace. Use the facilities, but you them carefully, thoughtfully and kindly,” said Cynthia Taggart, Owner of The Secret Garden.

“If we can preserve sleeping bear so the folks that are coming today, their grandkids can come in another 50 years, that’s sort of our measure of success,” said Tucker.

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