New Traditions, same old Upper Peninsula
Someone told me the other day “Jeeze, you guys are always in the Upper Peninsula..why don’t you just move up there?” This is a great point, and honestly Kwin and I have talked about it! The vast open land, crystal clear blue waters of Lake Superior, tranquility, and history of the land is VERY special to us. However, our family is here [in lower Michigan,] our friends are here; and if we lived in the Upper Peninsula then we wouldn’t have a place to escape to!
With every trip that we take to the UP we try to cover new territory, and this trips destinations were nothing short of AMAZING!
Kwin and I love camping at the Tourist park in Munising [it really is a perfect location!] Being that it’s only a short 1/4mile paddle across to Grand Island, it makes for fun day trips and awesome sunsets!
Our first “new destination” was biking around ‘Grand Island.’ The bike trail is about 23 miles long. I would rate it beginner/moderate difficulty. IF YOU EVER GO TO GRAND ISLAND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS! Not only is it a great workout…but the Lake Superior views are stunning.
Grand Islands history dates back to the 1800’s, when the Native American Chippewa tribe were the main occupants. The secluded nature of the island, yet still having an easy paddle to the main land, made it a pretty ideal location! If you are interested in learning more about the history, check out the book ‘Face In The Rock’ by Loren Graham; Kwin absolutely loves this book. He actually has ‘Chemaun Poll’ (a Native American legend believed that if you tapped your birch bark canoe while saying this you could go anywhere in the lake…and FAST) on his board during the lake crossings.
While on Grand Island, we had the pleasure of meeting Loren Graham. Thanks, to Corey Adkins from 9&10News, Kwin and I were able to tour the North Lighthouse (privately owned by Loren and his wife) along with talking to him about the book, the Native American culture, and the history of the lighthouse! Check out the interview and short segment on 9&10news here!
We couldn’t go to the UP without making a stop in Marquette! Biking, hiking, jumping off black rocks, epic sunsets, and paddling are only a few activities that we did.
Our Second “New Destination” was paddling to a secluded island just off the Presque Isle shoreline. Let me tell you, having a beach to yourself to read, swim and cliff jump is something special! What makes the Lake Superior shoreline different than any of the other Great Lakes is the rocky appearance-Hello Cliff Jumping!
Between Marquette and our cabin is a little town called Michigamme. A little history lesson: in 1985 the Department of Natural Resources wanted to reestablish a Moose population in Michigan, and what better place than the Upper Peninsula. January 1985, 29 moose were transported from Ontario, Canada to Michigamme, MI. Sense then the population has grown to 400+ moose! Some of them have traveled to other parts of the Upper Peninsula, but if you’re in the Michigamme area your chances of finding a moose are pretty high!
Our Third “New Destination” was setting up camp at the Van Riper State Park, and biking all around the area [we ended up doing about 47miles] HOPING TO FIND A MOOSE! I have never seen one in my life, and Kwin has only seen a handful before, so we were determined! Unfortunately, it was sunny and 90+ degrees…so most of the moose were tuckered away from the heat.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed, and now that you’ve made it through the beautiful pictures, check out Kwin’s video [HERE] of the trip!