Step Back in Time in the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

​It was the nicest day so far this year.  Weather-wise. Assuming nice weather refers to sunshine and heat-but not too much heat. The sun was out and the air was pleasantly warm.  A good day to enjoy the annual event Glen Haven Days​.

Glen Haven Historical Barn Door

Just 2.5 miles west of Glen Arbor on M-22, Glen Haven is a forty minute drive from downtown Traverse City.  To get there you head west on M-72, turn north on M-22 and continue until you get to downtown Glen Arbor, then turn west on W. Harbor Highway until you get to Lake Michigan.

glen haven map

​Part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Glen Haven is an area of shoreline with historical significance.  In 1865 a dock was built ​to transport lumber out of the area via the Great Lakes.  The location of the dock in Sleeping Bear Bay offered a protected harbor for the ships.

After the logging industry left the area, the dock was used as transport for produce that was grown on farms, many of which still stand today as a preserved part of the lakeshore. The dock fell to decline and was closed in 1931, but today there is still evidence of the pilings, some covered with sand and some visible in the water​.

What was the Glen Haven Canning Company is now a Great Lakes Boat Museum which is open 11 am – 5 pm daily, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Glen Haven Canning Company

Glen Haven Canning Company

For the Gland Haven Days event today, National Park Rangers were on site giving demonstrations and teaching about the history of the area.​  Here, in front of the General Store, a ranger was giving a hands on lesson in rope making the old fashioned way.

Glen Haven General Store

Glen Haven General Store

The General Store (open to the public) offers a nostalgic trip back in time with items you may remember from your childhood.

Glen Haven General Store Moon Pie

Do you remember eating Moon Pie’s?

jacks glen haven general store

And playing Jacks? You can purchase these (along with other items that will remind you of your childhood) in the General Store.  The G​​eneral Store also hosts a museum with a small but beautiful exhibit illustrating the history of the area.

Historical Museum Glen Haven General Store

Historical Museum inside Glen Haven General Store

Historical map Glen Haven Museum

A treat for collectors, this historic fuel pump sits just out in front of the museum and General Store​.

Historic gas pump at Glen Haven

The Blacksmith Shop was one of the first buildings built on the site, and it remains a well preserved part of the history of Glen Haven.

Blacksmith Shop Glen Haven

Blacksmith Shop Glen Haven

In the day, the Blacksmith was very important to both the harbor and the lumbering trade.  We watched a live demonstration of how blacksmithing was done. Live blacksmithing demonstrations are an annual part of Glen Haven days.

Blacksmith demonstration Glen Haven

These horse shoes and bell were made inside the barn and are on display at The Blacksmith’s Shop, hanging in the rafters of the barn.

Cow bell horse shoe Glen Haven barn

And after all the history lessons, we were ready to step back into the future.  The beach is just a short walk from the historical sites and demonstrations. And who can help but end up at the beach on a beautiful day in June on Lake Michigan?

Walking path Glen Haven Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore

This is the view from the Glen Haven Canning Company building that is now a Great Lakes Boat Museum. (I’ll leave the inside of this museum for another post.)

Glen Haven view from parking lot

Weathered trees at Glen Haven

Boardwalk view of Sleeping Bear Bay

We weren’t the only ones seeking water and sunshine.  People were skipping stones, basking in the sun, feeling the sand between their toes and taking advantage of the days perfect photo opportunity’s.

Snow fence at Glen Haven

Glen Haven beach in June

A veiw from the boardwalk of Sleeping Bear Bay, at Glen Haven, Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore​.

After playing on the beach, and a day of education and entertainment, relief is in sight-just in case you need it!  There are clean restrooms (open to the public) right next to the General Store. 🙂

Restrooms at Glen Haven

Restrooms at Glen Haven

What are your experiences in Glen Haven?  Have you been?  Are you planning a trip?  Please share….


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