Wednesday, September 11, 2019

23 Treasures to Experience Michigan's Paradise!

The brilliant sunlight of summer is waning as the days grow shorter.  Children and young adults have returned to school; the hustle and bustle of the summer family vacation tourist season has slowed, the days are cooler and the nights even more so.  Mother nature is reminding us to take note; the seasons are changing and it is time for us to reflect and to prepare as time passes.
Tahquamenon Scenic Byway
Within the Paradise area, there are two popular routes to enjoy in any season, but particularly in autumn:  the longest route, Tahquamenon Scenic Byway and America's Scenic Byway: Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway.  For the purposes of this article, let's focus on the 63 mile, Michigan state designated, Tahquamenon Scenic Byway.  Warning:  The distance may be brief but the time it takes to explore any number of these points requires some time so relax and spend some time to experience Michigan's Paradise.

One of this writer's favorites is a quiet, quaint spot along the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway, the

 1) Eckerman Pond located on state route M-123 just north of Eckerman near the intersection of M-123 and M-28. This location is a paddler's dream.  The cool running waters and gentle breezes invite you to relax, fish for trout, and take in the history of this one time trout hatchery grounds. 

Autumn in the Eastern Upper Peninsula
2)  Traveling north on M-123 to Paradise, the gateway to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, you'll find a sign directing you to the Curley Lewis Memorial Highway; that's a route for another time.   As you continue north you'll come to the Tahquamenon Rivermouth. 

3) There is one park, south of the rivermouth that has a boat ramp and river access for fishing.  You'll need a MI state park pass to park here for any length of time as this is a part of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

4) North of the rivermouth, there is a wonderful road side park, again a port of the state park,  with beach access to Lake Superior's Whitefish Bay.  This area tends to be shallow; a little warmer for folks to actually get their feet wet.

5) Be sure to stop for lunch at The Inn, Gastropub and Smokehouse to recharge with a succulent pulled pork sandwich before heading further north to one of the World's top 10 rated mar-i-time museums, the

6)  Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.  The museum shares stories of many wrecks in the Great Lakes region includin the incredible Edmund Fitzgerald.  The museum is open through October!
Rock Hounding at Whitefish Point

7) To explore the shores of Whitefish Point and

8) climb the Whitefish Lighthouse, just continue north at the blinking light in Paradise along Whitefish Point Road. While at the point you'll want to take note of  the

 9)  Whitefish Point Observatory owned and managed by the Michigan Audubon Society documenting the distribution and abundance of birds in the Great Lakes Region, with special emphasis on migration and habitat.  This region is a major North American Bird Migration route.

10) When you return to Paradise, stop at the Berry Patch for a cup of coffee and blueberry pie before venturing west to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Two must-do stops at Tahquamenon Falls State Park,

 11) Lower Falls, a combination of some five smaller falls that cascade around an are encouraged to explore and the

12) Upper Falls, the 2nd largest falls east of the Mississippi.  Listening to and seeing the waters cascade along the wilderness Tahquamenon River is breath taking.  Each location offers paths to walk to the natural sights with benches here and there to rest a spell.  The Tahquamenon Falls State Park has more than 22 miles of  hiking trails, the most well known is that portion which is a share of the
Tahquamenon Wilderness River Overlook North Country Trail

13) North Country National Scenic Trail, a project spanning  2,880 miles across seven states.  The most popular is the hike between the lower and upper falls.  After your hike, stop in at the microbrewery,

14) Camp 33 located next to the parking lot at the Upper Falls.  Kick back with local favorite, a stout black bear ale. 

15) Experience a water trail by stopping in at the Woods, west of the Upper Falls entrance.  Take this opportunity to paddle one of their canoes or kayaks or take a guided tour that includes a narrative of the history, culture, and science of the region.  You'll walk away from this adventure with the experience of a lifetime.  Sometimes you simply have to leave the pavement to take in all the components of the region.

16)  Crisp Point Lighthouse where culture and history is well preserved and accessible along the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway near county road 500. Take note that GPS signals and transmissions may not provide accurate directions to reach these remote outliers.  But catching this sentinel along the magnificent shores of Lake Superior is an adventure well worth the drive.
National Hiawatha Forrest

17) Oswald's Bear Ranch is a must stop for the family and children of all ages.   This bear rescue operation is open through September and offers a means of experiencing bears in as much a natural habitat is possible.

18) Two Hearted river immortalized by author Hemingway is a local favorite for fishing, paddling, and exploration.The rivermouth empties into Lake Superior.

19) Muskallonge Lake State Park is 217 acres located between Muskallonge Lake and Lake Superior, the former site of a lumbering camp and Indiana encampment.   Maybe you can plan your visit around the time of a

 20)   Tahquamenon Logging Museum  Lumberjack Breakfast.  The last breakfast in 2019 is scheduled for Saturday, September 28.

21) Luce County Historical Museum provides visitors with an inside look of a restored Sheriff's residence and jail.  The 63 mile Tahquamenon Scenic Byway includes a stop at the

22) Hamilton Lake Natural Area offering a park bench and moderate hiking trail.  While not located on M-123, the
Tahquamenon Falls Narrow Gauge Train Ride

23) Tahquamenon Falls Riverboat Ride is located just east of Newberry on M-28.  This is a must stop to learn more about the Tahquamenon River basin region from the experts while taking in a ride on their riverboat or train.

The Tahquamenon Scenic Byway is a route that traverses from Michigan state route M-28 south of Eckerman in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan north through Eckerman, the Hiawatha National Forest, Paradise and the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, second largest state park in Michigan.   The route continues through Luce County, Newberry and returns to state route M-28 south of Newberry.  The shape of it is similar to a horseshoe but the wealth of sites, history, and culture abound.  Be sure to plan several stops along this scenic byway as it adds beautiful scenic memories to your story.

No comments:

Post a Comment