Leave No Trace Spotlight: Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area

Join Leave No Trace in Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, MI – July 18-20, 2024

We hand-select nominated outdoor spaces that need our collective care and attention. By designating them as Spotlights, we’re rallying the local community to step up, join forces with Leave No Trace, and make a meaningful impact that can revitalize and protect these special places where we recreate, enjoy one another’s company, and elevate our health physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area has been selected as a 2024 Leave No Trace Spotlight. The Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team will be at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area July 18-20, collaborating with hosts and partners on a variety of programs including stewardship projects, workshops, and community outreach.

Opportunities to Get Involved:


Leave No Trace Pop-up Education & Nordhouse Dunes Outreach, 1:00 – 5:00 pm, Nurnberg Trailhead and Lake Michigan Recreation Area Beach Access

Join Leave No Trace and the US Forest Service for engaging and family-friendly outreach and education, meet the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Team and play quick games to learn more about Leave No Trace and how to protect Nordhouse Dunes and all your favorite outdoor spaces.

Campground Amphitheater Program, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Lake Michigan Amphitheater

We Are The Stewards of Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area
The Leave No Trace Spotlight Amphitheater program will provide an opportunity to learn more about Wilderness Character and the unique features that Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area provides as a resource with visitors. A history of the land and its formation begins the conversation following with the history of the Anishnaabe with Marie Richards, USFS Tribal Relations Specialist and tribal citizen of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The discussion then arrives to present day with how Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area became a congressionally designated Wilderness Area of the USFS. This program will focus on adding public understanding of what Wilderness Character is and why it is significant at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. Participants will be engaged to leave with a deeper understanding of how we, as stewards, are responsible in preserving this character for future generations to enjoy. The program will conclude with Leave No Trace and USFS staff available for a short question and answer session after the discussion.


Volunteer Stewardship Project, 9:00 am-12:00 (or 12:30 pm if joining post-project picnic), Nurnberg Trailhead

Join the Cadillac/Manistee Ranger District’s Recreation and Botany Technicians and Leave no Trace at Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness area as we complete restoration projects along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Depending on the group size volunteers, we will have the opportunity to clear invasive species along the dunes and clean up the beach of litter and disassemble illegal beach fires. Advance sign up is encouraged.

Meet at Nurnberg Trailhead. Volunteers may be split into groups and hike approximately 3 miles (round trip) to and from the work sites.

Important information:
– Must be able to walk/hike on uneven terrain. Work may entail bending, kneeling, crouching, light lifting.
– Bring water, snacks, a hat, sunscreen, and dress for the weather.
– Bring a sack lunch for an optional beach picnic to enjoy the views and learn more about the dunes
– Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
– Long pants and closed-toed shoes are required.
– Tools & supplies provided, but please bring work gloves if you have them.

Questions? Contact Mary Peek, 231-410-8345, [email protected]


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