Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula

Pentoga Park

Preserving an Ojibwe burial ground led to creating this pretty park at the southeast tip of Chicaugon Lake. One of Michigan's very first county parks, it opened to much fanfare in 1922. This was another project of Iron County engineer Herb Larson, a visionary in the early days of tourism. (He came up with the "roadside table," predecessor of the rest stop.)
Most area Ojibwe moved west to Lac Vieux Desert to avoid the mining boom. But five thousand people turned out for the park's dedication. They witnessed Ojibwa singing songs and a procession in full regalia and a speech by Eniwabi of Lac du Flambeau, recounting his people's recent history. His band was delighted and grateful that the park had saved their old burial grounds from cottage development. The park's name, somewhat mangled, honors his wife. The park manager continues, when time permits, to maintain and rebuild the cemetery's spirit houses (used instead of tombstones). Visit for more on the park and its history.

Today Pentoga Park offers a swimming beach, picnic area, boat launch, an elaborate new playground, fish-cleaning house, and campground. (See "Camping" section.) Supplies for shuffleboard, horseshoes, and volleyball are at the entrance booth. An old Indian trail leads to the Brule River three miles away. 1,100-acre Chicaugon Lake is unusually deep (115 feet) and clear. It's known for walleye, for muskies in June and September, and for whitefish, which spawn along the shore in November. If you're seeking peace and quiet, be advised that Chicaugon Lake is quite an active lake. It's quieter on the chain of lakes at Bewabic State Park, where local people don't like having to pay for the state park permit.
On CR 424 midway between Caspian and Alpha. From U.S. 2, take CR 639 south just west of Bewabic State Park. (906) 265-3979. Daily pass in summer $2, season pass $5. Handicap accessible parking, restrooms.

Return to Iron River

CR-424 Iron River to US-2. Lovely little ride back in time on this scenic backroad ... more

Iron County Museum. Multifaceted museum includes satisfying exhibits on the area's geology, logging, musical and ethnic heritage, life in mines (great video), plus 24 outdoor buildings (10 old log barns, houses, outbuildings), intact Caspian Mine headframe ... more

Downtown Iron River. A trim, pleasant shopping district with an art supply/gift shop/book shop, a combination of shops in an big old department store, a mild-long trail along the Iron River ... more

Angeli's Central Market/Plaza Cinema. A terrific supermarket with quality, fresh produce, something hard to find in the U.P., as well as a good wine selection, meats, ethnic baked goods. ... more

Ski Brule. In a scenic hilly setting is a resort with miles of cross-country skiing trails, two snowboard parks, Alpine skiing, and in summer mountain bike trails, horseback riding, canoeing and tubing ... more

Lake Ottawa Park/Ge Chi Ski Trail. This pleasant Ottawa National Forest park is on crystal-clear, 551-acre Lake Ottawa. It has hiking trails, a swimming beach, fishing pier, and a handsome CCC-era pavilion/bathhouse with fireplaces. ... more

Hiking path to "Treaty Tree" & Mile Post Zero. A short, secluded hike leads to the head of Brule River and the much-contested border between Michigan and Wisconsin ... more

George Young Recreational Complex. Open to the general public, this plush golf course and indoor swimming pool is sited on a 3,300-acre complex bordering 3 lakes. Foxes, deer, and eagles are not unusual sights for golfers here ... more

Wolf Track Nature Trail. A scenic 1.5-mile woodland nature trail with wonderful paintings and text to illuminate one's experience ... more

Pentoga Park. Opened in 1922, this is one of Michigan's very first county parks, located at an Ojibwa burial ground. Take an old 3-mile Indian Lake to the Brule River, fish the deep, 1,100-acre Chicaugon Lake for walleye and muskie, or use the swimming beach and picnic area ... more

First Roadside Table. Michigan was a pioneer in providing pleasant rest stops for motorists, and this 1918 picnic spot may well be the very first ever ... more

Iron River Wi-fi Hotspots. Intermissions has wi-fi next to Angeli's Foods. West Iron District Public Library has wi-fi. 116 Genesee St. (one block south of US-2) ... 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.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.
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