Possible 2018 MI GTG

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Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Colliemom » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:35 pm

I've been thinking of putting together a GTG in Michigan this summer as a few of you have mentioned coming to MI this year and others of you might decide too. There's a lot to see in this state, depending on how much time you have and want to see. There are a couple of possible ways to do a GTG depending on where everybody would like to go and see. One is to meet up at a set location in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, U.P. for short or do a caravan GTG, moving from one location to another, staying a couple days or maybe a few in a given spot and touring from there. Some of you might want to come up from WI while others might come up through the lower Peninsula, not that a GTG isn't possible in the Lower either, but the upper has the greatest amount of things to see and do. A caravan type GTG could start say in Mackinaw City and go over the bridge working west across the U.P. meeting those coming from the west at some point, then those heading west could go on and those heading east could come back with me see the sights along the way if you want. Just some ideas to toss around. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

I've going to throw out a bunch of websites for the more popular and best spots to see in the U.P. starting with Mackinaw City which is of course in the lower and working our way west. Those of you who have seen the movie "Somewhere in Time" probably already know about Mackinac Island. The Village of Mackinaw City is also kind of neat if you like to browse the tourist shops there. Everything from T-Shirts to Art work and inbetween. Lots of shops especially in the Mackinaw Crossing mall.

https://www.mackinacisland.org/
http://www.mackinawcity.com/

From mackinaw City, it's over the bridge and one can either work their way north on I-75 to Sault Ste. Marie, the oldest city in the state and home to the Soo Locks and other attractions. The locks are the only way that ships navigating the Great Lakes can pass the Rapids of the St. Mary's River and be lifted or lowered to the lake levels of Lake Superior and the river. Ships can be observed from an observation deck when they are going through or if one desires, one can take a Soo Locks boat cruise which will take you through the locks and back. Taking M-28 west will take you to Munising and the Pictures Rocks National Lakeshore which is a must see. Tahquamenon Falls is also north of M-28 on M-123. They are extremely popular with their golden tannic acid waters flowing over the crest. Whitefish Point, known as the Graveyard of the Great Lakes is north of the park and besides a great view of Lake Superior is also home to the Great Lake Shipwreck Museum and Lighthouse.

http://www.saultstemarie.com/
http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrai ... &type=SPRK
https://www.nps.gov/piro/index.htm

The Soo as it is called is about an hours drive north of Mackinaw City and the Falls and Whitefish Point are an hour and a half, making them day trips from the Mackinaw City area if one desires. Another option can be if you aren't interested in going to those areas, is to head west on U.S. 2 following along the Lake Michigan Shoreline for a number of miles and then go north to M-28 to Munising. From Munising it's off to Marquette and it's spectacular harbor. Being a 40 mile drive from Munising, another day trip if desired. Marquette is the largest city in the U.P. and is home to Northern Michigan University. It has a beautiful park and harbor along it's downtown waterfront area as well as biking trails along the lakeshore. The downtown area is easily accessible from the waterfront park area and it unique in that all the buildings are built of sandstone from back in the late 1800's, early 1900's. The architecture is very interesting, and there are shops and sidewalk cafes and other eating places as well there. To the west of downtown if Presque Isle park, a beautiful gem of a place to take a drive stop for photos of Lake Superior and the unique black rocks there. The only remaining ore dock in the city is also located here. The ore dock towers over the lake freighters and is used to load iron ore pellets into the ships. It's an interesting operation to watch the railroad cars dumping their loads into chutes leading down to the ship holds. For those who haven't seen the Great Lakes and the Ore boats, you would find this interesting.

http://michiganradio.org/post/marquette ... g-heritage

From Marquette, heading west, you can go up the Keweenaw Peninsula, that finger jutting out into Lake Superior. The area is rich in Copper Mining, home to Michigan Technological University and Finlandia University as well as Keweenaw National Historic Park. Farther up at the top of the peninsula lies Copper Harbor, home to Fort Wilkins Historic State Park and some of the most spectacular scenery in the peninsula. Or one can keep heading west and into the Porcupine Mountains State Park with its beautiful views of Lake of the Clouds, Lake Superior and waterfalls of the Presque Isle River and it's Gorge. Much of the stuff in the Keweenaw Peninsula can be done in a days drive or even two if one wants, by basing in a campground at the base of or along the way in the peninsula.

https://www.nps.gov/kewe/index.htm
http://copperharbor.org/
http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrai ... &type=SPRK
http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrai ... PRK&id=426

As to campgrounds, there are a wide variety of campgrounds in both peninsulas. The U.P. however being more remote doesn't have as many private campgrounds as the lower but there are some around. County parks too. Lot of National forest as well. I'm not equipped myself to camp in National and State forest ones, but do Private and State Parks, State Parks more due to my being a MI resident and having a cheap access permit. Plus I love the bigger campsites, the road and trails for walking, the lakes or whatever they are located on. Now, the thing is, the State Parks, State Forest campgrounds and any State Historical Sites (Mackinac State Historic Parks excepted) require the Recreational Passport for entry. This is a sticker affixed to the windshield of a vehicle for out of state vehicles and license plate tabs on MI vehicles. Out of state Passports cost $32. Daily permits are $9. If you camp in a state park, you will also have the nightly camping fee which averages around $26. But in the long run, after being in a state park, state forest campground or state historic site, you rec passport will pay for itself in 4 days. The state parks do not have full hookups, but do have electric on sites, water at various points through the campgrounds, shower and bathroom facilities, dump stations with water to fill up you tanks on the way in. They are regularly patrolled by the Park staff, nice places to walk your furry kids if you have any, bike the roads or trails or whatever. Some may not want to do it this way. Near Munising is the Munising Tourist Park, nothing fancy but close to the Pictures Rocks and other places. It is however very hard to get into. As is, it appears to be booked pretty much through July already. There is also a KOA on the other side of Munising, but it's an old park, just became a KOA and I haven't seen any good reviews as yet. Indian Lake, my favorite in the U.P. is about 50 miles south of Munising. The Soo has Brinley State Park nearby, and two Private campgrounds in the city or it's edge. Farther west are more State Parks, some county and private parks up the Keweenaw Peninsula and then the Porcupine Mountains which has both rustic and modern campgrounds as well as Lake Gogebic a bit farther south. I'm probably forgetting some. If any of you have the AllStays Camp and RV, you can look and see what's around. If east meets west by the WI border, there are a number of campgrounds in WI too. If you are monkeying around in the lower on the way north, there's Frankenmuth to stop and see off I-75 and also on the west side of the state is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and the Traverse City area. For Mackinaw City, Mackinaw Mill Creek Campground is a good place. http://www.campmackinaw.com. Information on the Re reation Passport, State Park camping etc., can be found on www.michigan.gov/dnr

But these are all options to think over at the moment. Let me know what your thoughts are. Any suggestions too. Any questions feel free to ask. And what time of the summer would be good for you or you think you will be coming in. On note, June can be buggy in the U.P. when the bugs hatch and believe me, you don't want to be where the black flies hatch.
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby JudyJB » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:27 pm

Sue, I can't make it, but Aune Osborn campground is only about a mile east of the Soo Locks and a great place for watching the big ships: https://www.saultcity.com/aune-osborn-campground It is one of my favorite places.
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Rufflesgurl » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:29 pm

Sue are the Niagara Falls not among your beautiful areas to see?

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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Colliemom » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:56 am

I have seen Niagara Falls many times. But they are in NY and are actually two different falls and a different type falls altogether, not to mention commercialized, sorry NY :) MI’s Tahquamenon Falls is the largest waterfall east of rhe Mississippi and the tannic acid in the water makes it sparkle lke gold especially in the sun, in it’s natural setting, with the green forests as a backdrop.

Thanks for posting that link Judy. I have camped at Osborne too and it’s a great ship watching park. I didn’t really put links to the Soo parks cause I don’t know how many if any people would be interested in going there. Plus I was getting a bit “link” weary posting all that other stuff :lol:
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Birdie » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:12 am

Thanks for posting that info Judy. I really enjoyed my stop and camping with you last summer. May see you again as I have yet to do WI.

Linda, Niagara Falls are a few hours drive east from MI across a spot of Canada. It is a nice drive of mostly 4 lane divided highway. I drove that last year after a friend and I did a guided tour of both the American and Canadian Falls. I highly recommend putting that on your bucket list. I think September might be a great time to do that as school will take a few of the folks out of the masses. Several RV parks available.
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Rufflesgurl » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:46 pm

In 2005 we flew into Michigan and did the long drive to Niagara Falls - no RVs this trip. We had not been there before so thoroughly enjoyed our 2 day
visit to the US side of the Falls. It's one of those places you have heard about all your life and can't wait to see. So glad we went out of our way to take
this side trip. Then back to visit relatives in MI.

Sue, would love to see the beautiful falls you mentioned but do not have plans to be in Michigan this year.

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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby IrishIroamed » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:40 pm

Sue ~~~ I doubt I'd make it unless at some point you nail down specific dates & locations. I need to be in South Dakota during June then will be, more than likely, heading thru MN & WI on the way back to IL for a bit to keep my Ma happy.
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Colliemom » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:26 am

It probably won’t be before August. But if anybody’s coming through whenever, I’ll be glad to GTG wherever, rather than do a formal thing.
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Tonic » Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:43 pm

Sue, I won't be able to make it to Michigan as I do hope to make it out West this summer, however I want to applaud you for how much information and time you took to post everything in there. Michigan is really beautiful, my daughter-in-law is from Petoskey and there was a time when I summered at Walloon Lake.
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Re: Possible 2018 MI GTG

Postby Colliemom » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:59 pm

That’s okay. I just threw this out there to see if any interest and anybody possibly coming into MI. I just made reservations for July 2-5th at Indian Lake State Park, near Manistique in the Upper Peninsula. It’s about an hours drive south of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Anybody want to join me, you are more than welcome, but sites available for reservations are going fast. There are walk in sites for peopke coming in off the road as well, but this is popular park andcthecstart of peak summer camping season. , so check ahead. And no fireworks are allowed in the parks, so no worry about that.
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