Great Lakes Picnic Garden

View from Hart Trail, 1979
The Heritage Trail is here!

The Heritage Trail bicycle path is open and it goes right in front of the GLPG! Wouldn't it be great if the GLPA was open again for people to rest in the shade, reflect on this former roadside attraction, get a drink of water, and maybe, someday, even be able to use a rest room? 

Not much needs to be done to make this former picnic area safe and accessible. A little patching of some blacktop, pruning a few trees and shrubs, cut the grass, and clean up around the former ponds--which still show the outlines of all the Great Lakes. And with just a little more effort, the water from the existing well might once again feed a drinking fountain! We think it would be awesome to make this area a place for families to take a break while riding their bikes. And maybe we could tell the Pierce Stocking story as well!

Think about it--send us a note, tell us what you think. If there is enough interest maybe we could talk about adopting the area and putting together a grass-roots "friends of the GLPA"  to keep it alive and provide a wayside on the bicycle path. Maybe the GLPA can be alive once more!!


Pierce Stocking's contribution to Roadside America.

This web site has been created as a collection place for anything that relates to the original Sleeping Bear Dunes Park--Pierce Stocking's "14 miles of scenic beauty." In the late 1960s, Pierce Stocking carved out a road over and across Sleeping Bear Dunes offering scenic vistas, parking and picnic areas, and views of Lake Michigan from over 400 feet above the lake. He also created the entrance area shown in the photo above. Stocking built a picnic area where visitors could relax on the grass, stroll amongst hundreds of fragrant roses, and walk into a living model of the five Great Lakes outlining the State of Michigan!

This entrance area, sometimes known as the Great Lakes picnic gardens, is our focus. We want to raise awareness of the importance of this spot and to protect and preserve this place before it is gone forever.

The GLPG is presently closed to the public and there are plans to finish the demolition of the remaining cultural artifacts. Ultimately, those plans are for the site to be returned to a totally natural state--with no evidence that there ever was anything cultural here.

We would not only not like that to happen, but we would like, if we can, to return this area to a functioning picnic area. A place to relax after climbing on the Dune Climb, or stop in as you pedal your bike on the Heritage Trail, or just come and learn about native plant species in the reborn gardens that might once again surround Stocking's Great Lake ponds!

And who is Pierce Stocking? He built a scenic drive over the dunes--a major local tourist attraction--but what else do we know about him? We think that Stocking's story needs to be told in a little more detail. And we think the GLPA could be a good place to do that.

So let's learn about wild flowers, native plants, and Pierce Stocking before it is all gone.

About Our Organization
People pulling together to save, clean up, and hopefully make functional again a quiet, green area for folks to rest, picnic, and enjoy nature near the Sleeping Bear Dune Climb near Glen Lake.

Tell us your stories!
We would like to get more stories of your visits to the GLPG, and pictures are always desired. Can you help us out? Preserving our collective experiences is important as we try and preserve this place.
Learn more about sharing your stories!
Dunesmobile #9 comes home!
Head on over to our Media Page to find the link to a sweet video on the return home of one of the original dune cars.

Click here to go to our Media Page.