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Under and Around the Mackinac Bridge: Westbound Straits of Mackinac Lighthouse Cruise

Sunday, November 1st, 2020

Introduction to The Mackinac Bridge and The Straits of Mackinac Area

The Mackinac Bridge spans 5 miles across the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet, and links Michigan’s two scenic peninsulas. Completed in 1957 after a 3-year construction process, the Mackinac Bridge has become an engineering marvel often associated with Michigan. The Mackinac Bridge is not the only attraction that brings visitors to the Straits of Mackinac. In addition to Mackinaw City, and the numerous activities on Mackinac Island, one can take a lighthouse cruise from the comfort of a Shepler’s ferry. https://www.sheplersferry.com/.

Information about the Shepler’s Lighthouse Cruises

The lighthouse cruises take place in the summer and require advanced reservations. The lighthouse cruises tend to fill up quickly, so getting your cruise tickets early is recommended. Additionally, there are a variety of different cruises that may be taken depending on the direction (eastbound or westbound) and length of time (ex. 3 or 4 hours). 3-Hour Westbound Lighthouse Cruise tickets cost $51.50 for adults, $29.50 for kids, and children under 5 are free. Onboard the Shepler’s ferry, one can learn the history and lore of the lighthouses, via an expert guide from the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

The 3-hour westbound lighthouse cruise’s first stop is the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, which operated from 1892 to 1958, when it became a museum. The lighthouse’s light was powerful enough to be seen 16 miles away by ships approaching the treacherous Straits of Mackinac. The lighthouse itself stands 58 feet tall and may be climbed with tickets being $8.50 for adults, $6.00 for children, and free for kids 0-4.

Old Mackinac Lighthouse from the water
Old Mackinac Lighthouse from the land side

The Mackinac Bridge

The lighthouse cruise then passes under the span of the Mackinac Bridge, where one can see cars and trucks passing 200 feet above on the bridge through the perforated steel grating that comprise the Mackinac Bridge’s center two lanes. It is an exciting experience to see the underside of the Mackinac Bridge from the water. As is often wondered by tourists, the perforated center two lanes of the Mackinac Bridge were not designed to be scare motorists. The steel grating was designed to allow wind to pass harmlessly through the grating on windy days and allow the Mackinac Bridge to sway slightly. This was a design feature that Dr. David B. Steinman, the architect of the Mackinac Bridge, utilized after the 1940 collapse of the old Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State due to high winds and the inflexibility of the old Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

The Mackinac Bridge
The Mackinac Bridge – 2
Underside of the Mackinac Bridge
Underside of the Mackinac Bridge – 2
Underside of the Mackinac Bridge – 3

St. Helena Light Station

The second stop on the 3-hour westbound lighthouse cruise is the St. Helena Light Station, which is located on St. Helena Island in Lake Michigan, about 8 miles northwest from Mackinaw City, Michigan. The lighthouse itself was built in the 1870s, while the outlying buildings of the lighthouse were built in the 1890s. This light station is only accessible by water and it is only possible to physically visit this disused lighthouse by either taking an occasional daytrip offered by the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association in the summer, or volunteering to be a summer lighthouse keeper through the GLLKA.

St. Helena Lighthouse – Profile
St. Helena Lighthouse – Close Up
St. Helena Lighthouse- Fading in the distance

White Shoal Lighthouse

The third stop on the 3-hour westbound lighthouse cruise is the White Shoal Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located near White Shoal in Lake Michigan, 20 miles west of Mackinaw City. It is also unique for being the only lighthouse in the Great Lakes to have a “candy cane” striping pattern. The lighthouse itself was built in 1910 and is only accessible by boat. It is possible to visit the lighthouse during the summertime through a tour with the White Shoal Light Historical Preservation Society.       

White Shoals Lighthouse
White Shoals Lighthouse – Up Close
White Shoals Lighthouse – Leaving

Grays Reef Lighthouse

The fourth stop on the 3-hour westbound lighthouse cruise is the Grays Reef Lighthouse. This lighthouse was completed in the 1930s and stands 65 feet tall. Like the White Shoal Lighthouse, it is only accessible by boat. However, unlike the White Shoal Lighthouse, there are no tours to this remote, octagonal Lake Michigan lighthouse.

Grays Reef – Profile
Grays Reef Lighthouse- Up Close – 1
Grays Reef Lighthouse – Up Close – 2

Waugoshance Lighthouse

The fifth and final stop on the 3-hour westbound lighthouse cruise is the Waugoshance Lighthouse. It was built in the 1850s and is unique for its “birdcage” design. However, the lighthouse was considered redundant in 1910 after the nearby White Shoal Lighthouse was completed. The disused lighthouse then became a site for World War II bombing practice. As a result, the lighthouse resembles a ruin rather than a maintained lighthouse. As the lighthouse is not open to the public, the only visitors seem to be seagulls and other birds. Waugoshance Lighthouse is most easily viewed from a boat, although it is visible also from the water at nearby Wilderness State Park.

Waugoshance Lighthouse
Waugoshance Lighthouse – Up Close

Overall Impressions & Considerations

The 3-hour westbound lighthouse cruise offers a great opportunity to view a variety of Michigan’s Great Lakes lighthouses. Since lighthouse cruise take place on a Shepler’s ferry, one has a choice of sitting on the top deck in the open air or on the lower deck where one can be “protected” from lake spray in wavy conditions. Onboard the boat, there are restrooms, and snacks and drinks available for purchase. Additionally, there are books available for purchase that explain the Great Lakes lighthouses’ lore and history. Still, it must be remembered the lighthouse cruise takes place on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, so it is possible to encounter a few waves, which can be enjoyable for some!  Fortunately, if the conditions are too rough to undertake a cruise, Shepler’s will inform guests and allow them to reschedule.

If you find yourself in the Straits of Mackinac area and are interested in Great Lakes lighthouses, taking a Shepler’s lighthouse cruise is well worth it!

Scenic Tours: Lakes, Lighthouses, & Brewpubs. Old Mission Peninsula, Traverse City, Ludington, Little and Big Sable Lighthouses, Ludington State Park, Crystal Lake, and Frankfort

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020

The Old Mission Peninsula is a narrow strip of land that extends into Lake Michigan north of Traverse City, Michigan. The Old Mission Peninsula is known not only for its rolling hills and excellent eclectic restaurants, but also for the number of wineries that produce some of the Midwest’s best wines! Diving on M-37 [the main road that follows the “spine” of the Old Mission Peninsula] reveals spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area. One of the most interesting trips is to go all the ways to the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula and see the Old Mission Lighthouse.

Old Mission Peninsula Winery & Scenic Overlook
Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Overview

The Old Mission Lighthouse sits near a swimming area and a lovely sandy beach. The lighthouse itself is short in height [you can climb it for $5], but offers great views of the surrounding area. More importantly, the lighthouse grounds straddle the 45th parallel; there is even a sign up front attesting to this fact! If you find yourself near Traverse City and want to take in some spectacular views, head to the Old Mission Peninsula; it is time well spent.

Old Mission Lighthouse Sign
Old Mission Lighthouse
Old Mission Lighthouse from beach
Panorama from atop Old Mission Lighthouse
Old Mission Lighthouse Beach Panorama from the Beach

Traverse City [“Cherry Capital of the World”] is a MAJOR destination for a lot of people who visit northern Michigan. Traverse City lies on the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay on Lake Michigan. Traverse City has something for everyone including great biking trails, opportunities to kayak, and a hopping brewery scene. One of the best ways to see more of Traverse City is to take a kayaking/biking/brewery tour, which involves biking or kayaking to a brewery, spending some time at the brewery and then going to the next one. If you find yourself in Traverse City at sunset, be sure to go to the H&L Social located on top of the Hotel Indigo Traverse City. Not only can one experience the sunset behind the hills west of Traverse City, but you will also observe the famous Traverse City waterfront and surrounding area. There are enough activities in Traverse City for everyone to choose from, whether you have a day or an entire weekend!

Sailboat in Grand Traverse Bay near Traverse City
Traverse City Sunset panorama from H&L Social
Sunset in Traverse City from H&L Social
Traverse City sunset and clouds from H&L Social

Ludington is a wonderful destination on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and is located at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River. Not only does Ludington have a selection of excellent breweries, but also quaint shops, a wide public beach, and two breakwaters that extend into Lake Michigan. One of the highlights of going to Ludington is to climb the North Breakwater Lighthouse [$5 admission fee] and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding area. The lighthouse itself is designed to look like the front of a ship, which is evident when the lighthouse is viewed from the end of the breakwater.

Ludington also boasts the S.S. Badger, a car ferry that is a National Historical Landmark traversing Lake Michigan on a daily basis to and from Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Watching the Badger return in the evening is a thrilling event as it passes between Ludington’s breakwaters. A highlight of visiting Ludington is to charter a fishing board and sail into Lake Michigan in search of salmon and trout; an attribute for which Ludington is well known! Lastly, Ludington is known for its Great Lakes shipping heritage; so much so that a Ludington Maritime Museum was built to showcase the area’s history. If you find yourself in the Ludington area and want to learn more and enjoy the area, this is an excellent place to explore or use as a base.

City of Flint Lifeboat in Ludington
Spirit of Ludington in Ludington
Sunset at Ludington
Ludington Lighthouse
View from atop Ludington Lighthouse
View north from Ludington Lighthouse Breakwater
Light opposite Ludington Lighthouse
Ludington Harbor & Breakwater Panorama
Ludington Breakwater (Including Ludington Lighthouse & light opposite)
Ludington Harbor, Breakwater, & Storm Clouds!
S.S. Badger
S.S. Badger – A Closer View

Little Sable Lighthouse lies south of Ludington and is located near Pentwater, Michigan. The lighthouse stands 108′ tall, is located just south of Silver Lake Park, and is easily accessible from Silver Lake Road and Lighthouse Drive from nearby Mears, Michigan. The lighthouse itself is located on Little Sable Point, a salient promontory that extends into Lake Michigan, and has served as a guide for sailors for over 100 years.

The lighthouse itself sits among tall sand dunes and beautiful evergreen forests. Climbing the over 100 foot lighthouse costs $5 (you must buy tickets at a nearby trailer instead of the lighthouse itself), but it is well worth the admission price. Those who climb to the top are rewarded with views of seventy foot tall sand dunes, evergreen forests, and magnificent views of Lake Michigan. If you find yourself in Pentwater area, Little Sable Lighthouse must be visited!

Approaching Little Sable Lighthouse
Little Sable Lighthouse sign – Front
Little Sable Lighthouse sign – Back
Little Sable Lighthouse in Shadow
Little Sable Lighthouse – Closer View
View from ascending Little Sable Lighthouse [1/2 way to the top]
Panorama from atop Little Sable Lighthouse
View south from atop Little Sable Lighthouse
View from atop Little Sable Lighthouse
View from atop Little Sable Lighthouse – People, Lake Michigan, and Beach
View from atop Little Sable Lighthouse – Shadow on the Beach Sands
Little Sable Lighthouse Lens
Little Sable Lighthouse Lens – Closeup
Little Sable Lighthouse Lens – Peering Inside

Silver Lake State Park is a State Park that is located very close to the Little Sable Lighthouse. Silver Lake State Park is unique is that it is full of sand dunes that can be traversed in wheeled vehicles whether they be ATVs, beach buggies, motorcycles, or Jeeps. For the more adventurous, Silver Lake State Park is best scene from the seat of a Jeep Wrangler or another guided-tour 4-wheel vehicle.

However, the majority of Silver Lake State Park is pedestrian only [no off-road vehicles], so one can explore on foot at will. The park offers excellent views of sand dunes and nearby Silver Lake while boasting scenic walks along the shores of Lake Michigan. There is also an interpretive area for those interested in the history of the Silver Lake area dunes. Remember to bring water and sunblock as Silver Lake State Park as the sun can beat down all day, leading to sunburn & dehydration. Another item to remember is your Recreation Passport for State Parks [however, one can be purchased for $11 at the Park Headquarter. The Recreation Pass is for one year]. Silver Lake State Park is a place where one can explore dunes and experience magnificent views of Lake Michigan and inland Silver Lake.

Panorama View atop Dunes in Silver Lake State Park – Lake Michigan in Background
Panorama View atop Dunes in Silver Lake State Park – Rolling Dunes and Silver Lake in Background
Panorama view from Lake Michigan beach at Silver Lake State Park
View from atop dunes in Silver Lake State Park – Peering Out into Lake Michigan
View from atop dunes in Silver Lake State Park – Sandy, Bluish, and Greenish Hues
View from atop dunes in Silver Lake State Park and Silver Lake
Silver Lake

Big Sable Lighthouse, located in Ludington State Park, directly north of Ludington, stands 112′ tall. Since the lighthouse is located inside the State Park, make sure to get a Recreation Passport when parking your car. Built in 1867, Big Sable Lighthouse sits among tall dunes & thick forests on a sandy promontory that extends into Lake Michigan.

Getting to Big Sable Lighthouse may be a bit of a challenge as there is no road on which to drive up to the lighthouse. However, there is a 1.8 mile-long crushed limestone trail from the State Park parking lot that meanders through dunes and trees to the lighthouse; the trail has interpretive signs that explain the dune zone environment. You can climb Big Sable Lighthouse for $5 and be rewarded with exceptional views of the surrounding areas. On clear days, parts of the city of Manistee [some 12-15 miles north] and nearby Ludington are visible from the top of Big Sable Lighthouse. Remember to bring water and sunscreen as it can get very hot walking among the dunes with little shade to be found. If you are headed north out of Ludington, this is definitely a destination to see!

Panorama at Ludington State Park from dunes above Lake Michigan
Approaching Big Sable Lighthouse
Big Sable Lighthouse Sign – Front
Big Sable Lighthouse Sign – Reverse
Big Sable Lighthouse
Big Sable Lighthouse from the Beach Side
View Ascending Big Sable Lighthouse
Panorama Atop Big Sable Lighthouse – Peering into Lake Michigan
Panorama Atop Big Sable Lighthouse – Land Side
Lake Michigan, Dunes, and Forests from atop Big Sable Lighthouse
Looking north from atop Big Sable Lighthouse
Looking into Lake Michigan from atop Big Sable Lighthouse

Crystal Lake is a beautiful treasure in northern Michigan, even though it may be a bit remote. Crystal Lake is located near the town of Beulah, and is one of Michigan’s largest inland lakes. Crystal Lake is known for its crystal clear waters and beautiful scenery. Standing at the public access docks in Beulah reveals rising hills that seem to ascend out of the sides of Crystal Lake.

There are many different activities for one to enjoy at Crystal Lake including boating, kayaking, and swimming. Crystal Lake cannot only be enjoyed from the shores of Beulah, but also at various points around Crystal Lake. The best way to explore Crystal Lake is to take M-115 towards Frankfort, then County Road 702 before taking M-22 and County Road 705 back to Beulah. Crystal Lake is definitely a destination where one can enjoy views of a beautiful lake and enjoy a day on the water. If you are on your way north on US-31, make Crystal Lake a place to stop; you will not be disappointed!

Panorama at Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake – Hills Rising From the Water
Crystal Lake – Sunshine on Crystal Lake

The City of Frankfort is a little-known destination located on the shores of Betsie Lake, at the mouth of the Betsie River; the charming town of Elberta sits opposite Frankfort in the harbor. One of the main attractions of Frankfort is its breakwater and lighthouse. The breakwater is unique as it extends into Lake Michigan before taking what seems like a 45 degree angle. Located at the end of the breakwater is the beautiful Frankfort Lighthouse, which has been guiding ships into Frankfort since 1873. The breakwater also affords a view of the surrounding area that includes lovely lakeside houses, tall dunes, and green forests. There is also a wide sandy beach for families and those who want to enjoy swimming in Lake Michigan.

A number of brewpubs have located to Frankfort, the newest of which is Stormcloud Brewing Company, that is quickly becoming well-known in the area for its brews & grub. Across the street from Stormcloud at Villa Marine Bar & Grill. Here you can sip a cold drink & watch the boats sail from Lake Betsie into Lake Michigan. Even if you spend only a few hours in Frankfort, it is well worth every minute of it!

Breakwater at Frankfort from Public Beach
Entrance to Frankfort Harbor from Beach – Closer View
Panorama at Frankfort Breakwater
Looking south from Frankfort Breakwater
Looking south from Frankfort Breakwater towards Green Dunes
Frankfort Shoreline
Entrance to Frankfort Harbor
Approaching Frankfort Lighthouse
Frankfort Lighthouse – Up Close and Personal

Wilderness State Park

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Wilderness State Park is located on the northwestern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It is located about 45 minutes north of Petoskey and 15 minutes west of the Mackinac Bridge. The park features a wide beach, dunes and a series of nature trails. The park covers 10,512 acres, so there is a lot of nature to explore.

The trail system through Wilderness State Park winds through tranquil woods and quiet ponds. The sign posts at each intersection indicate which number point you are at and directions to nearby number points. The walks are enjoyable and are mostly on level ground, so they are easy and fun for everyone! Be sure to bring water, sunscreen and maybe bug spray for your exploration of Wilderness State Park.

Since Wilderness State Park is State owned land, it is necessary to purchase a Recreation Passport; however, it is possible to purchase one at the park headquarters for about $11 {the permit lasts for a year}. While Wilderness State Park is located off the main highways, it is accessible from Wilderness Park Drive that runs from Mackinaw City. If you find yourself in the Mackinaw City or the Straits of Mackinac area, be sure to check out Wilderness State Park; it is well worth the ride!

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Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids

Friday, June 24th, 2016

If you find yourself in the Grand Rapids area, the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a MUST-SEE. Grand Rapids is the metropolitan population center of Michigan’s west side and is located just 30 minutes east of the shores of Lake Michigan. The Meijer Gardens are not simply gardens, but also includes outdoor sculptures and a full-size Japanese Garden with working tea house! Meijer Gardens was created through the generous support of the Meijer family, founders of Meijer grocery stores.

Of interest at Meijer Gardens is the indoor conservatories with plants from tropical and desert environments. Plants from as far away as South Africa and Australia grow and flourish in their recreated native environments. There are also indoor art galleries that feature rotating collections of sculptures as well.

The Meijer Gardens feature a variety of plants and trees that welcome visitors with a variety of sights and smells. The exhibits also feature something for everyone. If you find yourself in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area be sure to visit the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

 

 

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Whitefish Point

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Whitefish Point is located along the southeastern shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. While the area is 2 hours north of the Mackinac Bridge, it is well worth the drive through the backwoods. Whitefish Point boasts something for everyone from a national bird sanctuary, to a renowned shipwreck museum and spectacular views from a historic lighthouse!

At Whitefish Point, the most famous attraction is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. The Museum itself is housed in a collection of buildings that comprised the Whitefish Point Light Station. The centerpiece of the museum houses exhibits on shipwrecks that occurred in the vicinity of Whitefish Point and the Great Lakes, as well the history of the Whitefish Point area. A recent addition to the museum that draws many visitors is the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the most famous Great Lakes shipwreck; a ship immortalized in a Gordon Lightfoot ballad.

Another great part of the museum is the Whitefish Point Light itself. The climb itself is not for the faint of heart as one has to traverse a number of stairs in the interior portion of the Light while in a tight space. However, the reward is well worth the climb, but not for the claustrophobic; the views from the top of the Light offers glimpses of Canada, the sandy shoreline of Whitefish Point and the seemingly ever-present freighters. The views are something that must be experienced firsthand!

Lastly, there is the Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters, which showcases life at the Whitefish Point Light Station at the turn of the 20th century. Exhibits explain how lighthouse keepers lived, though life was tough due to the location’s remoteness, inclement weather and constant danger to ships in the “funnel” of Lake Superior near Whitefish Point.

If you are looking for an amazing and historical attraction, visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point.

Welcome to Whitefish Point

Welcome to Whitefish Point

 

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Whitefish Point Lighthouse from the beach.

Whitefish Point Lighthouse from the beach.

 

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Looking up at the lighthouse

 

Panorama from top of Lighthouse

 

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A Great Lakes Freighter

 

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Looking westward from the lighthouse

 

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Caption for the Edmund Fitzgerald bell

 

Edmund Fitzgerald bell

Edmund Fitzgerald bell

 

Edmund Fitzgerald bell-2

Edmund Fitzgerald bell-2

 

The Fitz as she lies today

 

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Superior City exhibit

 

Vienna exhibit

 

John M. Osborn exhibit

 

Niagara

 

Bell of the Cincinnati

Bell of the Cincinnati

 

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Salvage suit

Salvage suit

 

Focal Lens from the lighthouse

Focal Lens from the lighthouse

 

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Lego model of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Lego model of the Edmund Fitzgerald

 

Wax model of a lighthouse keeper

New Buffalo and Harbor Country

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

New Buffalo, MI and the “Harbor Country” of southwestern Michigan are the summer playground for Chicago-land residents looking to escape the city. The town of New Buffalo lies on the shores of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Galien River, a few miles north of the Michigan-Indiana border. While New Buffalo itself is a small town, it is serviced by an Amtrak station, making it a convenient day-trip from Chicago, northwestern Indiana or other parts of Michigan!

One of the best activities to do in New Buffalo is heading to the City Beach, which features a large, sandy beach and a dune walk. The views from the top of the dunes are spectacular as one can see not only the vast expanse of Lake Michigan, but also the skyscrapers of Chicago on a clear day! There are other activities as well, such as canoeing on the Galien River (there are several liveries nearby) or strolling along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Traveling out of New Buffalo along the tree-lined Red Arrow Highway (named for the famous 32nd Infantry Division, whose members hailed from Wisconsin and Michigan) allows a traveler to see quaint art galleries and restaurants. The Red Arrow Highway travels northeast from New Buffalo through the rustic towns of Union Pier, Lakeside and Harbert, each unique and appealing in its own ways.

Traveling along the Red Arrow Highway also affords the adventurous traveler one of the most picturesque Lake Michigan beaches, Cherry Beach. Cherry Beach is located at the end of W. Harbert Road (located in the town of Harbert) and is reached via a wooden set of stairs. The view from the beach offers glimpses of a sylvan shoreline to the south and Warren Dunes State Park to the north.

Next time you find yourself in southwestern Michigan, make sure to visit Harbor Country!

Another New Buffalo Overview

New Buffalo Overview

 

 

 

New Buffalo Dunewalk Panorama

New Buffalo Dune Overview 2

New Buffalo Dunes Overview 1

Lighthouse at New Buffalo Beach

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Cherry Beach Overview 3

Cherry Beach Overview 2

Cherry Beach Overlook 1

Looking north at Cherry Beach 2

Looking north at Cherry Beach

Panorama at Cherry Beach

Petoskey Sunsets

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Petoskey…a town whose name means “rays of the rising sun,” certainly embodies its name. Ignatius Petoskey, the son of a local Native American chief, is the town’s namesake. Petoskey itself is a small town in northern Michigan that lies on the shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, some 50 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge. Petoskey is known for its “million dollar sunsets” over Little Traverse Bay, sunsets which produce amazing colors in the evening sky. It is not uncommon for dozens of people to gather in Sunset Park, located in Petoskey to watch the sunset.

While Sunset Park offers a great viewing area for the sunsets, the whole of Little Traverse Bay offers spectacular views of the sunset. In particular, Bay Harbor, a community located some four miles west of Petoskey, offers some of the best views. However, sitting in beach chairs anywhere along Little Traverse Bay’s shoreline or a restaurant terrace in the summertime offers viewers a spectacular performance. Every sunset is a new experience and no two are ever the same. Perhaps this is why sunsets here are called “million dollar sunsets,” not only for their sheer beauty, but also for their uniqueness.

If you find yourself in the vicinity of Petoskey or simply want to see something amazing before going to Mackinac Island or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, spend some time in Petoskey and watch the sun set “into” Lake Michigan.

 

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Sleepy Hollow

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

A quick trip from Lansing, Michigan is Sleepy Hollow State Park. It contains 22.5 miles of trails, some of which are horse trails. The trails themselves generally follow the outline of Lake Ovid, a feature created by damming the Little Maple River in the 1974. The best way to see the Park is biking [no bikes to rent there] due to the distances and terrain types involved (bring water and sunscreen because portions of the trails are in direct sunlight). Hiking is also a good option for those who want to see the park at a more leisurely pace. A striking feature of this park is sign posts at junctions that inform you of where you are in the park and locations of the markers in the immediate vicinity. What is striking is the serenity of the park and the ability to hear wildlife; considering that Michigan’s capital is less than 20 minutes away! Water and sunscreen are a must for this trip as it can get hot and parts of the trail are in direct sunlight. A campground and disc golf course are also features of Sleepy Hollow.

I recently went kayaking on Lake Ovid [thanks to my Meetup Group!]. There is a boat dock on the western shore of Lake Ovid to launch kayaks and boats. However, Lake Ovid is a “no wake lake,” so leave the speedboats at home! The lake itself is beautiful with an island in the middle; the lake itself is an easy paddle for anyone from beginner to expert. The only drawback is the abundance of weeds in the shallower parts of the lake.

If you find yourself in the Greater Lansing area, this State Park is a must see!

 

 

Here are some images and video from Sleepy Hollow from my two trips there:

 

Broccoli Island in Lake Ovid?

 

 

Hello world!

Monday, November 26th, 2012

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