Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Survey Identifies Plans for a Family of 4, for a 3 Night Stay!

Tahquamenon Lower Falls

In a July 2017 survey of social media, a number of visitors to the Paradise area and residents chimed in with suggestions for a family of four planning a three night stay.  The survey results supported the notion that people like to help other people. Must see recommendations included the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Whitefish Point.  Must experience favorites included paddling a canoe at the lower falls, an  ATV ride to Crisp Point, rock-hounding at Whitefish Point, the Shipwreck Museum, Oswald's Bear Ranch, Brown's Fish House, and Chainsaw Chad's.  The community of Paradise may be small but the region is filled with many opportunities for a family vacation, so much so, that Mary Kay was prompted to state, "You'll probably need to extend your stay by 2-3 days".

Tahquamenon Lower Falls Image by Suzy Drouse, Pinconning, Michigan

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park provides a vast number of experiences.   Don suggested renting a canoe at the lower falls, paddle the river and visit the island in the river. If you are a healthy hiker, walk the trail between the lower and upper falls. If you hike to the trail and would prefer a ride back, that is available as well. Don also suggested that if you have an inflatable boat or kayak,launch it at the Tahquamenon river mouth and explore the river and bay. 

Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Shipwreck Museum

Whitefish Point is home to the Whitefish Point Light Station, the Shipwreck Museum, Whitefish Point Bird Observatory,  fabulous rock-hounding,  and an incredible view of the largest fresh water lake by surface area in the world, Lake Superior.  Due to its geographic location, Whitefish Point is situated along one of the major North American bird migration routes and houses a warning beacon to up bound and down board lakers as they move from the lake to Whitefish Bay.

Oswald's Bear Ranch

Oswald's Bear Ranch is a family owned bear rescue operation that opens its doors each season, offering people a glimpse of the lifestyles of native black and brown bears.  Housing some 29 bears in some four separate habitats ranging is size of 1/4 - 1/2 mile perimeters.   As one of the top ten family attractions in Upper Michigan, children of all ages enjoy the stop. My husband, 70+ particularly enjoys watching the yearlings play.

Whether you use an ATV or take the drive to Crisp Point, you will find the experience well worth the effort. The Crisp Point Lighthouse sits remotely along the southern shore of Lake Superior.  Having served as a beacon, the Crisp Point Historical Society works to maintain its history and preserve its life saving structure.

Brown's Fish House is a multi-generational family operation that serves the best, freshest Whitefish in Michigan.   You'll find then on the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway (M-123) just west of the blinking light in Paradise.  Plan on lunch or an early dinner, because they do close when they run out of fish. 

Chainsaw Chad's is a unique little studio serving as a shop along the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway (M-123) with incredible sculptures large and small produced by Chad.  Inspired by many north country natural wonders, on a nice day, you might catch Chad and his chainsaw working outside revealing one his masterpieces.  
Hiking the North Country Trail

 Hiking, walking, paddling, the Paradise area is flush with trails as there is so much to see.  Whether you wish to explore the North Country Trail, or hike between the falls, paddle the Tahquamenon, you need to leave the pavement, explore the forests, waterways, and beaches in the region.  Enjoy nature, enjoy your family, and  experience the trip of a life time and develop a life time of memories in Paradise.

Monday, February 12, 2018

2018 Holds Special Promises For Unique Adventures

350 Years Sault Ste Marie, MI
The summer of 2018 holds a promise of unique adventures in the eastern upper peninsula of Michigan.   With a rich history of 350 years,  Sault Ste Marie, Michigan is offering a year-long celebration to residents and visitors of one of America's earliest settlements.  Added to the mixture this summer is the 3rd Michigan Lighthouse Festival,  shining it's light on three lighthouses:  the Whitefish Point Light Station established in 1829, Crisp Point Lighthouse, built in 1875, and Point Iroquois Lighthouse, first illuminated in 1857.  Aside from the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the Shipwreck Museum, why not consider the Paradise area for this summer's retreat?  Don't delay in setting up your plans.  Schedule a quiet location to relax in the Paradise area while visiting the Soo Locks, or paddling the Hiawatha Water Trail.  Then add to your agenda three lighthouses.

Throughout 2018, Sault Ste Marie is enriching their action-packed schedule with remembrances of their 350 year heritage.  Plan to book a room in quiet Paradise, visiting the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, the Shipwreck Museum, Pictured Rocks, and Sault Ste Marie this summer.   Specifically from July 21 - 27, Sault Ste Marie will host the ultimate birthday party through their 350 Festival.  The event will feature food, kid and teen zones, military appreciation, historical information, cultural festivities, and other family events.  This is the summer to schedule a stop in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

Whitefish Point Lighthouse

The first weekend in August will see an unprecedented group of lighthouse enthusiasts taking advantage of
Point Iroquois Lighthouse

  • special programs at each light house facility
  • a Friday evening  meal and concert at the Bay Mills Casino and a Gordon Lightfoot Tribute
  • Arts & Crafts vendors at the Whitefish Township Community Center, just south of Paradise on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 AM
  • Pasties served at the community center, Saturday for lunch, 
  • a special concert, organized by Music on the Bay along Whitefish Bay's shoreline Saturday evening, 7 PM
  • local church services, Sunday morning offering the Light to the lost
  • Crisp Point Lighthouse
  • and a plethora of historically rich, illuminating the least informed,  information about the  origins and necessities of light houses in American's Mari-time culture 
Immerse yourself in a culturally rich era of history by visiting Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, then exploring three historically rich lighthouses.   Irregardless of when you might visit the Paradise area, these attractions are an experience you never forget.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Experience Photography in Michigan's Paradise

December 20, 2017 the Paradise Area Tourism Council chose their 2017 PHOTO CONTEST winner from among seven category finalists.  Huntington Woods, Michigan resident, Laura Dailey-Pelle won the 2017 contest with her Spring in Paradise entry of a sunrise on Lake Superior's Whitefish Bay. 

Spring in Paradise by Laura Dailey-Pelle, Huntington Woods, Michigan

“Selecting one finalist at the end of the year was challenging.  Some of these photographers put in a great deal of effort to get just the right shot,” explained Paradise Area Tourism Council President, Jim Stabile.  Entries in the final round were submitted by photographers: Terry Humphrey, Eckerman, Michigan, Jessica Scroggin, Seymour, Indiana, Suzy Drouse, Pinconning, Michigan, Rachelle Drayton, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Rob Brooks of Seymour, Indiana.  The 2017 finalist receives recognition through the council’s website, social media, and a $100 Grand Prize.

The council was so pleased with the quality of entries received in 2017 that they voted to conduct a similar contest in 2018.  The 2018 schedule for category entries is listed in the following table.

January  9, 2018
January 16, 2018
February 12, 2018
February 19, 2018
March 13, 2018
March 19, 2018
April 10, 2018
April 16, 2018
May 8, 2018
May 14, 2018
June 12, 2018
June 18, 2018
July 10, 2018
July 16, 2018
August 7, 2018
August 13, 2018
September 11, 2018
September 17, 2018
October 9, 2018
October 15, 2018
November 13, 2018
November 19, 2018
December 11, 2018
December 17, 2018
December 18, 2018

Each month the council reviews the entries received, and determines those images that advance to the final round. The winner at the end of the year receives a $100 gift card.  For additional information about the 2018 Photo Contest can be found on the www.MichigansParadise.com website. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Significant Ornithologist Experience

Wikipedia defines "Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs"  At Whitefish Point the local climate and  geologic features culminate in a plethora of activities that are not common across the continental United States. "Spring brings the smelt runs on the streams, wild bird migration, and beachcombers searching the shore for agates and unique driftwood; mushrooms pop up and are sought by many." Reflections on Paradise, 1989.  Whitefish Point is a mecca for birders -- Whitefish Point is on one of the busiest migratory flight paths in the world.

"The land and water surrounding the Point (Whitefish Point, Paradise, Michigan) create a kind of corridor, channeling thousands of migratory birds into it.  By January 1, 2003 a total of 318 species had been observed  Different types of birds have their own manner of arrival:  'Water birds concentrate as they travel in and out of Lake Superior.  Raptors follow the land that provides rising columns of swirling warm air to power their travels.  Meanwhile, songbirds funnel through the peninsula in an attempt to minimize the distance they have to travel over open water and the perils that such a journey entails.'" Remotely Yours, Jan McAdams Huttenstine, East West Press, LLC, 2010, p. 224, Whitefish Point Bird Observatory 25th Anniversary Member's Cookbook, 2003, Paradise.
Courtesy Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
"Spring migration (mid-March to mid-May is highlighted by Bad Eagles and as many as 15,000 to 25,000 other raptors.  In mid-April, the impressive spring water bird migration begins (20,000 to 45,000 birds).  Fall migration (mid-August through October) brings a spectacular show of 50.000 - 100,000 water birds."  Remotely Yours, Jan McAdams Huttenstine, East West Press, LLC, 2010, p. 225.  Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. Pamphlet, (Lansing: Michigan Audubon Society), 2009.

Experience the season of spring and its unique ornithological characteristics,  come to the Whitefish Point and experience Michigan's Paradise.  Whitefish Point Bird Observatory will be hosting their 29th Spring Fling, April 29 - 30, 2017.  Josh Haas is the keynote speaker this year. Showcasing his knowledge of hawks on the wing and sharing his expertise in identifying them at a distance.  Sign up for a field trip and learn more about the coveted Spruce Grouse.  Whether a beginner or experienced birder, attending this conference will offer you a significant ornithologist experience.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Join Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Fall Owl Banding

Thursday, September 15, fall owl banding will resume at Whitefish Point and continue nightly, weather permitting, through October 31. Information about owl banding is posted regularly by this season's crew at wpbo.org under the owl banding blog. 

Rich Keith, Director of the Kalamazoo Valley Bird Observatory,, states that WPBO has one of the longest running sets of avian monitoring data in the Great Lakes. Their summer owl banding program is unique in the world; while others have tried to find a place where numbers of owls can be monitored in summer; no one else has found such an area. 
Snowy Owl

A quick Internet search on “Owl Banding” yields information about Wolf Ridge Owl Banding from the McHenry Audubon, Snowy Owl banding in Barrow Alaska, and the Three Rivers Park District (a Minnesota event).  Whitefish Point Bird Observatory just north of Paradise, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, currently under the administration and support of the Michigan Audubon identifies this region of Whitefish Point has a primary North American bird migration corridor in spring and summer.  Before the long journey across Lake Superior, the birds take advantage of the region's rich natural habitat to rest and replenish.

Northern Saw Whet Owl
The USGS.gov website is owned by the U.S. Geological Survey and includes a lot of information about bird banding and the data that is used both in research and management projects.  According to the site the individual identification of bird species makes it possible to study dispersal and migration, behavior and social structure, life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.  The North American Bird Banding Program is jointly administered by the United States Geological Survey and the Canadian Wildlife Service dating back to 1923.  Should you find a bird with a band and wish to learn more about the band, this site also offers a means to report the band.

Experience the process of learning more about owls and encourage people to do the same.  Share this information and these resources with your family and friends.  Don't forget that you too, can support these efforts through your financial gifts, just visit www.wpbo.org.