Malia's Miles MI page

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Summer in Michigan - 2011

Itinerary last - Pure Michigan! Click map for larger image and locations of planned stops
Staying a week at each park (except allowing at least 2 weeks for Mackinac and Island, etc.) would put me leaving Michigan sometime in mid to late October. I'm sure there will be other unexpected delays, and I want to leave enough "wiggle room" for other things that come up I might want to explore, but as long as I am out of MI before the snow flies, it's all good!
Arrive Depart Park Attractions and Notes Next
6/ 28
Brighton Recreation Area Meet with Chris about geo-cache, travel bugs. 158 miles:

Tawas Point

Chuck Allen

The "Cape Cod of the Midwest." Victorian style lighthouse.

See Ken & Sandy 10 miles away

32 miles:



Harrisville festivities and fireworks on July 2
A "hidden gem" of a state park - beachfront campsites!
75 miles:
Hoeft State Park
Blake Gingrich

A heavily wooded park with a mile of sandy, Lake Huron shoreline; a great bike path

Alpena Shipwreck Tours

59 miles:


(2 weeks)


Straits State Park
(Explore Mackanic Island from here)

Wayne Burnett

Fantastic views of Mackanic Bridge -- -- Mackinac State Historic Sites -- Mackinac State Parks
Forum re State Parks UP -- The Original Butterfly House -- Wings of Mackinac -- Magic at Mackanic Island --

Mill Creek Discovery Park (4 miles east of Mackinaw City) - Maia recommends "riding the zipline"

Reader tips: West of Mackinaw is Wilderness State Park. If you follow the lakeshore south, you will end up in Cross Village, the home of Legs Inn. It's a Polish restaurant with amazing views and even more amazing decor inside. Nothing like it anywhere. Then take 119 south, called the Tunnel of Trees, to Harbor Beach. The Tunnel of Trees road is possibly the best road in MI. It's pretty narrow though so you might want to do it without the trailer in tow.

Grand Hotel: West Bluff Drive Victorian Homes (on the way to Grand Hotel)
West Bluff Walk to Hubbard's Annex -- Mackinac Island by Bicycle

49 miles:
Upper Peninsula:

Brimley State Park

Sault St. Marie - Rushing waterfalls give way to majestic forests, rocky coastlines lead to picturesque lighthouses, and engineering feats of man stand side-by-side with small fishing skiffs and buckets of bait. Meet Jeannie when in this area.

Soo Locks - One of the great wonders of the world and still the largest waterway traffic system on earth. Your boat will travel along the international shoreline of the lower harbor letting you experience all the sights, sounds, and excitement of Michigan's oldest city, Sault Ste Marie.

57 miles:

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

Craig Krepps

Great trails, large sites - falls, hikes & things to do.

Exploring The

A great little town on the shores of Lake Superior at the north-eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Paradise is along the western shoreline of Whitefish Bay, with it's sandy beaches and great view of the Lake and Canada. Cranberry Capital of Michigan

Whitefish Point -- Bird Observatory -- Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum & White Fish Point (Edmund Fitzgerald artifacts)

Go to Whitefish Point or anywhere else along Lake Superior, and tour the shoreline from there.

Pictured Rocks Cruises - must do!

127 miles:
Western Upper Peninsula:

Gitche Gumee Park
Jeff - 866-447-8727

See Munising, take Pictured Rocks tour, see Marquette, Presque Isle
From Kathy re: Munising - From Coast Guard station: On the right of cul-de-sac is a small path into the woods. It opens up onto shore of Lake Superior. Follow the shore a little bit and you come upon an expanse of beach that is covered with bleached driftwood - some small, some so big it resembes big bones, so my family nicknamed it "the elephant graveyard."

121 miles:


F.J. McLain SP

Lee VerBerkmoes

2 miles of sand beach on Lake Superior.

Don't miss the Keeweenaw Penisula - Brockway Mountain Drive, Fort Wilkins SP, Copper Harbor, then hug the Superior lakeshore down through Eagle Harbor and all the way down past Calumet (historic copper mining town) and back into Houghton. Amazing views!

Gratiot River Park for agates

86 miles:

Porcupine Mts. SP (Union Bay CG)

Jimmy Newkirk
William Doan

Porcupine Mountains Music Festival - August 26-28

Porcupine Mountains - Located on the shores of Lake Superior, the Porcupine Mountains are home to the largest tract of old-growth hardwood forests west of the Adirondacks. Hundreds of spectacular waterfalls. A must-see.

Lake of the Clouds
Summit Peak
Presque Isle

Note: Due to extending stay at Porcupine, have to skip Indian Lake this year; will find brief stopover points between Porcupine and Traverse City.
Heading South (along Lake Michigan):

(Must arrive no later than 9/22 due to daughter coming to visit for a week on 9/23)

Traverse City State Park

Tim Schreiner

Angelique to join me! (Sept. 23-30)

Traverse City - Kit's favorite.

Gaylord - per Nan, a "little Swiss flavored town."

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Magnificent views over sweeping vistas of Lake Michigan from atop high dunes, miles of perfect freshwater beaches, forested wilderness islands, hiking trails and a series of preserved historic farmsteads. Abundant wildlife and a diverse ecosystem thrill the nature lover.

Sleeping Bear Dunes Cruise - (888-469-4696)

The drive around the Leelanau Peninsula on M-22 is not to be missed. Check out Leelanau State Park at the northern tip, and also Fish Town in Leland.

National Park - Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Leelanau State Park: On the tip of the peninsula where sunrise and sunset can be seen from same point.

Old Mission Peninsula: "Old World" - General Store since the mid 1800's.

98 miles:
From Traverse City, I'd be heading back north to Petoskey due to having to make up time...


Petoskey State Park

Dennis McDermott

Sandy beach on the bay.

Maia: Wheelway bike path runs from Petoskey to Charlevoix, offering chance to see mushroom homes up close. Path runs along Lake Michigan and offers stunning views nearly the whole trip. You won't want to miss the gaslight district of Petoskey in the evening. Also, I suggest a little spot called Sturgeon River Pottery just south of Petoskey on US 31.

Also see Young State Park and Boyne City, "a super cute town with lots to do."

Take ferry to Beaver Island

68 miles:




Ludington State Park

Dan Adams

Scenic sand dunes, ponds, marshlands & forests. Maia: Michigan's #1 beach

Grand Haven State Park (per Rick from Holly, camp right on the beach w/ elec)

80 miles to Grand Haven State Park (further south) (per Rick from Holly, camp right on the beach w/ elec)

38 miles to Silver Lake State Park: recommended by reader

Reader tips: South of Ludington is what is called the Ludington Pumped Storage. The view from the bridge above looks down on a huge hydroelectric powerplant. Really erie after dark with the lights, the lake, and the hum of those turbines. Water is pumped up into storage at night using excess power from the nuke plants, then let out during peak use to generate power. The best part though is that this puts you on a drive along the lakeshore through wooded dunes and into Pentwater, a great little town of the arts. Then south of there is Silver Lake and Silver Lake SP. The lighthouse there is not to be missed - maybe the best one in the state. South of there is Whitehall (home of the last Dog 'n Suds in the world) and you can continue to follow right along the lakeshore to Muskegon SP. Actually, the wife and I just took a ride along here last Friday on our way up to our camp near Ludington. Do it about every year and never gets old.

138 miles:
10/18 10/25

Van Buren State Park

Kurt Maxwell


1 mile of sandy beach & high dune formations on Lake Michigan

Reader tips: One thing along Lake Michigan is if it says Lakeshore Drive take it. Another favorite of ours is from Saugatuck to South Haven. That's about 45 miles from our house near Plainwell, and in the area of the Van Buren SP. Don't miss Saugatuck and if you don't mind feeling your legs burn from climbing stairs, a walk to the top of Mount Baldy there will suprise you with an amazing view.