Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula
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Henes Park

This city park occupies a 50-acre point extending out into Green Bay on Menominee's north side. It's akin to Marquette's Presque Isle but flat, without the rocks. Beyond the entrance arch, wooded nature paths are named Schiller, Goethe, Longfellow, Shakespeare, etc. - a blend of nature and culture familiar in U.S. cities influenced by German migration circa 1850-1910.
German-American brewer John Henes (pronounced "HEN-iss") donated the park, built in 1907, when industrial uses dominated Menominee's waterfront. Local residents welcomed being able to take the streetcar to a place designed for the Sunday outings (with brass bands and beer) that were so central to German-American culture. Germans love trees, and Henes wanted to preserve the native landscape, an unspectacular old-growth forest of hardwoods, hemlock, and pine. Today signs point out noteworthy trees along the woodchip paths.

The perfect proponent of the natural approach was landscape architect Ossian Cole Simonds, who designed this park. An pioneer of "natural landscaping," Simonds was more important in his day than his now-famous contemporary Jens Jensen. However, fire and changes destroyed most of Simonds' designs, and his work has been largely lost.

Simonds used viewpoints, paths, and buildings to frame and highlight the natural environment. He did not rearrange natural elements or grade land to enhance nature as a romantic composition. Simonds was well known for nature-based cemeteries, parks, and subdivisions, including Palmer Woods in Detroit, with its winding drives, huge oaks, and stately Tudor homes.

Today's Henes Park offers a sandy swimming beach with lifeguards, a colorful new playground, picnic spots, and fine views across the bay to Door County. All radiate off the one-mile circle drive. Behind the second pavilion is a picturesque pond with lily pads, fish, and frogs. Utilitarian structures have replaced the picturesque buildings he designed here, but the effect of his plan remains.
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Entrance drive is on U.S. 35 just north of where it branches off U.S. 41 on Menominee's north side. (906) 863-2656. No fee. Mostly wheelchair-accessible.

Return to Menominee and Marinette

MENOMINEE AND MARINETTE
POINTS OF INTEREST
Downtown Menominee on Green Bay. Menominee's historic waterfront downtown is a fine place to stroll and enjoy the architecture, specialty shops, antique mall, cafe, and park. ... more

Menominee County Historical Museum. See an animated miniature 1929 circus, old Menominee Indian dugout canoes, logging artifacts ... more

North Pier and Lighthouse; Tourist Park beach. A north pier light at the harbor entrance has guided boats to the Menominee River since 1877. There are picnic tables and a public beach here ... more

Michigan Welcome Center. This vintage log visitor information center for Michigan has many charming architectural details from 1938.
... more

Red Arrow Park. At the base of a long sandbar extending a mile out into the bay is this outstanding park, with beach, picnic area, playground, and a path to the protected bay where waterfowl nest ... more

Walking tour of downtown Marinette. See an island park, logging museum, the impressive homes of 19th-century lumber barons overlooking the big river ... more

Menekaunee taverns. This district across the river in Wisconsin was originally a squatters' village for millworkers, loggers, and fishermen. Today the old taverns here are a draw for people who want authentic, unfussed-over local color ... more

Henes Park. A 50-acre point extending out into Green Bay with wooded nature paths, a beach, fine views of the bay, a picturesque pond, and picnic area ... more

DeYoung Family Zoo. See endangered, often rescued big cats: leopards, tigers, lions, cougars, also wolves and bears in large fenced areas with ponds, and reptiles inside. Kids can feed, pet, and be photographed with some animals. ... more

Menominee/Marinette Wi-fi Hotspots. • Marinette/Menominee Chamber of Commerce—601 Marinette Ave (can sit in parking lot to use 24/7) • Spies Public Library 940 First St. has wi-fi & public computers ... 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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