Parts of Sleeping Bear Dunes to reopen Friday

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in August 2019. (Michael Buck/WOOD TV8)

GLEN ARBOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — As more businesses in the northern Lower Peninsula are allowed to reopen Friday, so will parts of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

The park is reopening Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, all park trails and trailheads, picnic areas, boat launches, the Dune Climb and vault toilets.

There is no entry fee right now. If you go, you are reminded to maintain social distance from others. If you see a crowded trailhead or overlook, go elsewhere.

Several features remain closed, including the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, all campgrounds, museums, and full-service restrooms.

Parts of the park have been closed since mid-April to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Park officials previously said they don’t expect everything to be reopen until July.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that bars, restaurants and retail shops in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula could reopen Friday with safety precautions in place, including capacity restrictions to main social distancing.

She said Thursday that small social gatherings of 10 people or fewer were OK statewide, and that all retail businesses could reopen by appointment only May 26. All medical, dental and veterinary procedures may resume May 29.

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