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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is located in western Michigan along the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the five great lakes. It has beautiful forests, wetlands, beaches, sand dunes, and landforms made by glaciers.


The park’s name comes from a myth told by the Chippewa people. According to the the myth, a forest fire drove a mother bear and her cubs into the lake. The mother survived, but her two cubs drowned. The “Great Spirit” was impressed by the mother bear and her efforts in trying to save her cubs and made two islands to honor the cubs. The wind was said to have buried the mother in sand while she slept, waiting for her cubs to come back from the lake.