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Spectacular Hues: Fall Color Tours

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The Peninsula Point Lighthouse Tour takes you around Little Bay de Noc. From US 2, take County Road 513 down the Stonington Peninsula. Climb the steps of the 40 foot lighthouse and gaze at the panorama view of Lake Michigan. This historical Michigan lighthouse was built in 1865 to help guide the wooden sailing vessels into both Little and Big Bays de Noc. Beside the lapping water of the bay is a good place for a picnic. On the way back, take County Road 511-15th Road through the farm country of the peninsula back to US 2.

Monarchs of the North

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Home to the a breathtaking Monarch Butterfly migration. The cedar trees and lands surrounding the Peninsula Point Lighthouse Park, at the end of the point, separating Little from Big Bay de Noc, becomes the stop-off-point for thousands of Monarchs in late summer and early fall. The butterflies gather at the peninsula for their flights across the open waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay on their way south. The best time to see the Monarchs is August. However migration continues throughout September, when the peninsula’s hardwoods begin their annual fall change over, making for a spectacular fall color show in the sky as well as in the trees.

Tunnel of Trees

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Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service

The Haymeadow Creek tour takes you through the Hiawatha National Forest. Haymeadow Creek Campground is located about 11 miles from Rapid River on County Road 509. Take the peaceful 1/4 mile hiking trail that winds along Haymeadow Creek. Further down County Road 509, the color of the trees can be spectacular. For a tremendous view of the Whitefish Basin, turn left on Forest Road 2236-38th Road to US 41. On the way back, stop at the Rapid River Falls Park and sit back, relax and just watch the water fall.

Garden & Ghost Towns

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Photo Credit: michigan.org

The Fayette tour takes you down the Garden Peninsula to historic Fayette State Park. Off of US 2, turn right at Garden Corners and follow County Rd. 483 to LL Road Turn left on LL Road and then right on 13th Road to finally end up at Fayette State Park. This turn-of-the-century iron smelting town features over 20 original buildings. Some are furnished as they may have looked in the 1800’s. A hiking trail along a limestone cliff provides a breathtaking view of the town and Big Bay de Noc. Before passing through Garden, stop at the quaint stores and try some smoked fish. On the way back, take a scenic detour on County Road 495 and 499 through Nahma for a last look at the bay.

The Escanaba River Tour takes you up the majestic Escanaba River. Your first crossing of the river on County Road 420 is upstream from Dam 3. A nearby access area provides a view of the impounded water. County Road 426 to Cornell takes you through farming country. Whitetail deer can often be seen in the fields. Past Cornell to the right, County Road 519 again crosses the flat limestone bed of the Escanaba River. Turn right on St. Nicholas 31st Road to go through Perkins and into Gladstone where an overview of Little Bay de Noc is seen from the Bluff.

Information on Historical Village Fayette Park courtesy of the Michigan DNR.

The Escanaba River Tour

The Escanaba River Tour takes you up the majestic Escanaba River. Your first crossing of the river on County Road 420 is upstream from Dam 3. A nearby access area provides a view of the impounded water. County Road 426 to Cornell takes you through farming country. Whitetail deer can often be seen in the fields. Past Cornell to the right, County Road 519 again crosses the flat limestone bed of the Escanaba River. Turn right on St. Nicholas 31st Road to go through Perkins and into Gladstone where an overview of Little Bay de Noc is seen from the Bluff.