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Unread 08-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
ChicagoRod
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Cirlce Lake MI Trip. What to See?

I'm leaving on the 25th of Aug for 13 days to drive around Lake MI. I have stops and wheeling planned in Silver Lake on the 26th and Drummond Island sometime after that. Check my route and tell me if I'm missing anything.

Also plan on seeing The Great Lake Shipwreck Museum, Pictured Rocks, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Soo Locks and maybe even the Mystery Spot. Need to be in Menominee on Sept 4th for family and back to Chicago on the 5th. Not time for Copper Harbor.

It's just me and the LJ so I get to make 100% of all decisions barring breakdown. Camping out everywhere but Marquette and Menominee.

Your advice is greatly appreciated!

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Unread 08-12-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
rideraa
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Twisted trails is very close to your route, north west of Caddilac.
Open on weekends

Rock and Valleys not to bad, open weekends

Other 2 a bit out of the way.

Mounds Off-Road Vehicle Area\

6145 E. Mt. Morris Rd.
Mt. Morris, MI 48458


Rock and Valleys
Harrison MI

Bundy Hill
Jerome Mi

Twisted Trails
Copemish MI
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Unread 08-14-2011, 11:06 AM   #3
_Kyle_
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Too bad you can't go to Copper Harbor. Some cool back roads wheeling and awesome scenery and camping opportunities.
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Unread 08-14-2011, 01:15 PM   #4
ChicagoRod
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I spent time in Copper Harbor last summer on this trip. I need to explore the eastern UP.
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Unread 08-14-2011, 09:57 PM   #5
computeruser
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Skip the off-road parks. Off-road parks are for...um, special people. And Mounds is about as low on the off-road park totem pole as you're apt to find.

As for your actual trip plans, the old lifesaving station at Vermillion is kinda cool, especially the restored beach habitat there. Crisp Point lighthouse is worth rolling out to, also, if you are into lighthouses. It is worth noting that it is possible to get from Whitefish Point to Vermillion to Crisp Point to Grand Marais without touching pavement. Most of this area is sandy, and easy to navigate solo.



Some spots closer to Marquette, though, get really slick and muddy after a rain:



The mouth of the two-hearted river and the beach area immediately to the east of it is a good place to camp, and consistently provides excellent sunsets; there's a state park campground right there at the mouth of the river, if you need somewhere to pitch a tent without the challenges of finding a dispersed campsite on your own.



If you hit up Drummond Island, drive around the island the long way (counter-clockwise) to the fossil formation at the north end (you can't go the other way, there is gated private property in the middle, despite what the maps show). It's interesting terrain, and you can check on the progress of the massive beaver dam along the road. This is what it looked like a year and a half ago, when construction first started:


In Munising, Falling Rock Cafe is a good place to stop for a bite and a coffee. In Marquette, Jean Kay's pasties and Rice Paddy thai food are both on Presque Isle Ave and are consistently tasty. Rice Paddy has the best pad thai in the world according to Lonely Planet, and while I wouldn't necessarily go that far in my praises, it is tasty all the same.

Also, be aware that the entire region from Vermillion west to Grand Marais should be in peak blueberry season while you're up there, so bring some pancake mix and go pick you some blueberries. They're everywhere - right along the trails, outside your tent, everywhere - just pull off to the side of the trail, kneel down, and pick!




If you have troubles with your ride in the U.P., the guys at UP Auto Tech just outside of Munising should be able to straighten things out. They have provided repair and maintenance support to past Upper Peninsula Overland trips and events, and are by all accounts good people.
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Unread 08-15-2011, 02:43 PM   #6
ChicagoRod
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Well that's more than helpful! I like the idea of dirt roads to Grand Marais and will probably do that. I understand that M58 from GM to Munising is now a paved and a very nice drive. It might be a nice break from the freeways and mud.

Don't bears like blueberries too? Do I need to pack anything extra?

I went to school in MQT and will be visiting old friends there.
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Unread 08-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #7
ChicagoRod
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I also pan on grabbing some smoked fish sausage in Munising from Vandlandshoots Fish right on the lake. If you've never tried, you must! No they don't ship, I've begged. There's a pasty place in Munising that is supposed to have the best in the UP too.
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Rod
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Unread 08-15-2011, 07:29 PM   #8
computeruser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRod View Post
Well that's more than helpful! I like the idea of dirt roads to Grand Marais and will probably do that. I understand that M58 from GM to Munising is now a paved and a very nice drive. It might be a nice break from the freeways and mud.

Don't bears like blueberries too? Do I need to pack anything extra?

I went to school in MQT and will be visiting old friends there.
Yeah the stretch of M58 more or less from GM to Munising is a very nice bit of paved road these days. It was all torn up and closed for paving a couple summers ago when we were there, which gave us the opportunity to find some nifty work-arounds to the south.
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