NPS - National Park Service

08/19/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/20/2019 08:29

50 Millionth Visitor Welcomed at Sleeping Bear

News Release Date:
August 19, 2019

On Monday, August 19, the National Park Service (NPS) welcomed the 50 millionth visitor to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore). Deputy Superintendent Tom Ulrich greeted Meghan Boertman and her family of Norton Shores, Michigan, with enthusiasm and gifts, at the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire. Ulrich announced the occasion to a full visitor center, and park rangers and the rest of the visitors applauded as Meghan and her family walked through the door.

It was the Boertmans' first visit to the National Lakeshore. Meghan and her husband Spencer were traveling with their two children, Jacoby and Levi. She told park staff, 'At first I thought this was how you greeted everybody, but then I realized it was a much bigger deal.' The Boertmans were presented with a plush black bear, an annual park pass, 'Beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes' and 'Legend of the Sleeping Bear' souvenir books, and a DVD of the official slide show, 'Dreams of the Sleeping Bear,' shown regularly at the visitor center. Deputy Superintendent Ulrich said, 'The National Lakeshore is proud to recognize Mrs. Boertman as our 50 millionth visitor on the cusp of our 50th anniversary year in 2020. Those numbers are testament to the continuing importance of the National Lakeshore as a wonderful place to visit; not only as a regional destination, but nationally as well.'

National Lakeshore visitation statistics are recorded from road, visitor center, and campground counters on the mainland as well as North and South Manitou Islands. For detailed visitation statistics on all national park sites, the interested public is encouraged to go to