Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula
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Bergland Cultural Center

Bergland Cultural Center
USDA

The front building of the former Ottawa National Forest ranger office looks like a prim Cape Cod house but was built as a rather small office. Now a local group of Bergland-area volunteers has teamed up with the national forest to transform and staff the office as a visitor information center with maps and nature handouts. Photos, artifacts and documents show the early days of the Ottawa National Forest. Nearly all its million acres were acquired between 1928 and 1935.

Before the Civilian Conservation Corps came to plant trees in the cutover, files show, there was not a tree to be seen for 60 miles. Reforestation not only restored the forests but cleaned lakes and rivers and created good fish habitat. The center shows an excellent video on the U.S. Forest Service, "The Land that Nobody Wanted."
Here is an unusual artifact called a fire finder, used in a fire tower. It's a round device like a giant compass whose parts can point to smoke in the distance and line up to calculate the angle place from which smoke might be coming.

Surrounded by big trees, the onetime district office is a pretty place for picnics, with tables. There are a native flower garden and walking trails, too.
Incidentally, the three buildings (ranger residence, warehouse, and office, all built by the CCC in 1936) and grounds of the ranger station are the best-preserved vintage complexes in the forest service's eastern region. When staff expanded to include recreation, soil and water monitoring, the station became obsolete.
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On M-28 a bit east of M-64 (coming from White Pine), in same complex as Ottawa National Forest Heritage Center. In 2-story house to rear left. Same hours as museum: open from noon to 4 Wed-Sat from Mem. Day weekend thru Labor Day, possibly a bit longer. Wheelchair accessible. No charge. Donations welcome.

Return to Bergland and Lake Gogebic

BERGLAND AND LAKE GOGEBIC
POINTS OF INTEREST
Bergland Cultural Center. A useful center for visitor information for the million-acre surrounding national forest is also a nice place for a picnic or walk ... more

Bergland-Matchwood Historical Society Museum. Old stuff from the area's farms, schools, and timber cutting past as well as a gift shop with local paintings ... more

Trap Hills hikes. Exceptionally fine day hikes in a remote part of a huge forest which features extraordinary panoramic knobs along high bluffs ... more

Backroads forest drive to Victoria and Rockland. Rugged back road through the Trap Hills to Victoria Dam, Old Victoria mining ghost town, and picturesque Rockland. ... more

Lake Gogebic County Park. Pleasant county park on Ice House Bay has a swimming beach, picnic area, fishing dock, boat launch, and campground. ... more

Lake Gogebic State Park. There's a beach, campground, and a choice hillside nature trail up into large old-growth maples and hemlocks, with outstanding spring wildflowers. ... more

Alligator Eye. Landmark hillside on Lake Gogebic's west shore has a short, steep trail to the top, with a long view east. Beautiful in fall; a snowmobilers' favorite. ... more

Lake Gogebic West Shore Road Parks. A scenic drive punctuated by two parks with swimming beaches and picnic areas, and two memorable hillside hikes. ... more

Lake Gogebic's East Shore Road. 19-mile scenic drive includes birding spots, an elk pen, and a picnic area with a fine view across Lake Gogebic to Alligator Eye. ... more

Our new interactive map to U.P. motels that offer exceptionally low rates. See also our useful detailed maps to U.P. TOWNS. These custom-made maps locate landmarks and attractions.
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.

 
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