More and more people are visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as the weather warms up.
Now, the park located in Empire closed access to all visitors. The popular tourism area is closing after an influx of people visited the park last weekend without social distancing.
“Undoubtedly it’s because people are feeling cabin fever and want to get out. For the park and park staff, we’d normally welcome that,” says park superintendent Tom Ulrich.
Trails, trailheads, picnic areas and boat launches are closed until further notice.
“Our rangers have contacted several parties who have disclosed they actually traveled up here from locations downstate in COVID hotspots, specifically to come up and vacation and hike the trails,” he said.
He also says that visitors vandalized the restrooms – ripping out sanitizer dispensers and stealing toilet paper.
After rangers locked them, people defecated outside the bathrooms.
If people continue to show up, rangers will ask them to leave.