Upper Peninsula of Michigan ..... here we come.

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by Raycfe, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Going to spend a week on the upper peninsula ......to visit waterfalls and lighthouses. We are coming in thru Sault Ste Marie. Suggestions ...... time of year, August -September?? Only 2 adult and Quincy. Quiet campground to leave from everyday with power ...... Things I must see. Thanks
     
  2. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Well-Known Member

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    Never camped in the pup while in the upper peninsula, but if you're making the trip do yourself a favor and make sure you visit pictured rock's national Lakeshore. Its majestic. We backpacked picktured rocks when I was about 16... I will never forget it.

    Edit: I remember staying at a state campground just on the north side of the bridge. i remember it being nice.
     
  3. bearfilm

    bearfilm New Member

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    check out copper harbor - we were there for a few days and really enjoyed it - we were there around July 4 last year. Mosquitos were not bad at all but the flies were out.
     
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  4. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I was up there on my cross country trip. Stayed at Straits State Park. Good location to see a lot. That was in early Sept. Also you could try Two Hearted River State Forest Campground up on Lake Superior.
    • Mackinac Island
    • Whitefish Point Lighthouse & Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
    • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
     
  5. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Its going to be a 1,000 mile trip for us, so we also need an overnight stop near but not at Niagara Falls, either side of the border. Newberry Campgrounds seems to be are best bet for Michigan.
     
  6. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    We stayed at the same camp ground when I was a teen... very nice (back then anyway) and if I remember right, it provided close access to the Mackinac Ferry....
     
  7. kgesiako

    kgesiako Active Member

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    Straits state park is one of our favorite campgrounds, but check out satellite view of the layout when choosing your site. There is a north side and south side, and in our opinion the north side is a little more spacious and quieter. The sites are right on or across the road from the lake and the bridge at night is beautiful. If you want a little adventure check out crisp point lighthouse on Lake Superior. The road to get to it is right by the falls and is an interesting drive down some narrow dirt roads, but absolutely worth it!
     
  8. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Do you really mean Niagara Falls if you're crossing at The Soo? Or is that a different part of your trip?

    While the UP is smaller than Ontario, it's still big. Basing out of a single location is going to mean a lot of driving, even if, say, you limit yourself to the eastern half of the UP. I’m a State Park fan, so I’ve stayed in the pup at Tahquanemon Falls, Straits, and Muskallonge Lake, and they’re all simply great, and provide easy access to the features of the eastern UP.

    If you’re interested in a tour of the Locks, you can catch a boat while passing through The Soo from either side. On the US side, the parks that’s right at the locks is interesting if you want to see some freighters go up and down. The view isn’t as good from the Canadian side, because the Canadian lock is quite small (it does allow unpowered watercraft to pass through, though).

    Check out Oswald’s Bear Ranch near Newberry, and of course the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. You can easily spend a week here if hiking it, and even if you’re driving into and out of sites, it’s easy to spend a few days to get to them all. If you’ve got a suitable vehicle and fall colors are out, then Beaver Basin Overlook is a can’t-miss. It’s a rough road, so it’s very private once you’re there.

    Of course, Mackinac Island is completely worth the trip. If you happen to end up at Straits, the ferry service offers a free shuttle back and forth to the docks; just give them a call and they’ll pick you up. (Incidentally, if you happen to have an unexpected vehicle breakdown in the area, George’s Body Shop is an excellent mechanic that’s honest and didn’t rip off a desperate traveler.)

    And of course, you must cross the Mighty Mac. It’s a toll bridge each way, but it’s a magnificent view.

    Seney Wildlife Refuge is worth a visit. Munising. More. There’s so much to do and look at. Enjoy!
     
  9. tdiller

    tdiller Active Member

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    Cenrtralizing yourself is not a bad thing to do. Depending on what you want to see. Tahquamenon Falls State Park for one. Pictured Rocks national park as well. Depends on how far you want to drive each day to and from the sights. munising to newberry (kind of central ) is about 60 miles one way. So setting up in a central location and doing day trips from there is quite possible. That's how my wife and I like to set up as well. We set up dinner in a crock pot so there is nothing to prepare when we get back each night. Or we eat out some nights. We pack lunches to carry with us. We will often make 150-200 mile one way excursions from a central location
     
  10. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    They don't allow dogs in pictured rock's national lake shore.

     
  11. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Coming from Connecticut its 500 miles to the north west corner of New York ........ then from the border area for the second 500 mile leg of the trip. We may go look at the Mackinac Bridge .... but I'm not driving over it! We do plan to see the locks. As for crossing into Canada... my options are the Peace bridge in Buffalo, at Alexandia Bay, Ogdensburg, or 1,000 Island bridge. As I am looking at it Ogdensburg looks at my best option with stopping overnight at a campground near Ottawa.
    Thanks for the suggestions we are in the early planning staging.
     
  12. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, go see the locks. They are something to see and steeped in history. They were the basis for the Panama canal locks design. John Stevens was the engineer who got that project going and he learned his trade, building RR's across the UP and further west. We are about to get second 1000ft lock built at the Soo. Yes, I do love my industrial history. And you should cross the Mac, its not that scary!

    Below is from Wiki
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    The Soo Locks (sometimes spelled Sault Locks, but pronounced "soo") are a set of parallel locks, operated and maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, which enable ships to travel between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. They are located on the St. Marys River between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, between the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan and the Canadian province of Ontario. They bypass the rapids of the river, where the water falls 21 feet (6.4 m). The locks pass an average of 10,000 ships per year,[4] despite being closed during the winter from January through March, when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes. The winter closure period is used to inspect and maintain the locks.

    The locks share a name (usually shortened and anglicized as Soo) with the two cities named Sault Ste. Marie, in Ontario and in Michigan, located on either side of the St. Marys River. The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge between the United States and Canada permits vehicular traffic to pass over the locks. A railroad bridge crosses the St. Marys River just upstream of the highway bridge.

    The first locks were opened in 1855. Along with the Erie Canal, constructed in 1824 in central New York State, they were one of the great infrastructure engineering projects of the antebellum United States. The Soo Locks were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966.[5]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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  13. J E A

    J E A New Member

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    We did Porcupine State Park last year. It is very remote. Much of what we wanted to see (Pictured Rock, etc.) was really too far to drive. I agree with one of the posters above that said the Upper Penninsula is quite large. Mackinac Island is wonderful to experience. The Soo Locks are great as well. We liked Porcupine State Park but it is quite remote. We also really liked Sleeping Bear Dunes and Traverse City (which are in the south part of the state).
     
  14. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Remote?? The Porkies are just 1.5 hour drive for us. :grin: We go there often.

     
  15. hammb

    hammb Member

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    We camped at Tahquamenon Falls SP last year. It was pre-PUP, so we tented it. We had a great time, it's a really nice campground. As others have mentioned, though, the UP is huge. We wanted to see most/all of the UP in one trip, and what that meant was we spent several hours driving from the SP every day. One day took the long drive to Pictured Rocks, another day the long drive to Mackinac, etc.

    For my tastes, I found Mackinac Island a complete waste of time, and even more money. We took our bikes to ride around the island, and I could probably find plenty of places around the UP I'd have rather ridden. But to each their own, it's certainly a UNIQUE experience, so perhaps more for you than us.

    Pictured Rocks is amazing, and the next time we do the UP we'll be staying closer to that area than the falls. The kayak tours on Superior are amazing, and there were a lot of awesome looking hiking trails to explore that we just didn't get enough time with.

    Did a canoe trip through Sceney Wildlife preserve. That was cool, lots of pure wilderness. Unfortunately we didn't see much wildlife (they don't always cooperate!) And in terms of canoe trips it was a very slow moving, technical (lots of zig zags/downed trees/etc) river. I'm pretty good in a canoe, so no issues steering, but it does make for a pretty long trip to cover only a few miles.

    The falls SP was great, would recommend it if you want to be on the East side of the UP. Good trails to the Upper & Lower falls. Bathrooms were nice, we had electricity, etc. Again, we weren't in the PUP, but there were plenty of PUPs around that I got to keep pointing at to tell my wife we need one...which we now have :)
     
  16. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

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    Time flies… last time I was in the UP was 1982. Tahquamenon Falls is a good destination. Mackinac Island is a tourist trap, but nice if you're into that sort of thing. Copper Harbor is (was) pretty cool. I can tell you about the time we ran flat-out-boogie across a cedar swamp and ended up on a beautiful isolated beach on Lake Superior…

    One thing I'm surprised nobody has mentioned is the pasty shacks. Look for places along the road with a sign that says "PASTIES" (pronounced with a short A, not 'Paste tees'). Stop, go in, and get your lunch/supper. I sort of flipped out back in '96, when the extended family gathered on Platte Lake (near Traverse City) and we ran across a pasty shack that far south. I squealed and turned the car around, and got supper for everyone. It was a big hit. Seriously… you cannot go to the UP and not get pasties at least once.
     
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  17. tdiller

    tdiller Active Member

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    Near but not at the falls four mile creek state park.
     
  18. Muller 5

    Muller 5 Active Member

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    We didn't camp, but check out the shipwreck museum and 12? Mile beach.
     
  19. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Plans have changed a little....... still going but taking I80 thru Pa instead for going thru Canada. Going to pickup M-23 near Standish and travel the coast of Lake Huron to the bridge. Staying in Newberry for a week plus.
    Any suggestions for the Upper Peninsula ........ DW has a list about 50 places LOL.
     
  20. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Sorry we can't be of much help since Newberry is a bit far east of us, but the Sault locks would be interesting if you like industrial type stuff.

     

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