Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula

Huron Boardwalk

Improvements like gazebos, picnic tables, and benches are continually being made to this mile-long path along the harbor.
Most recently, new, more substantial interpetative historical plaques have been added. An interesting, illustrated $2 walking tour guide further illuminates the boardwalk. Published by the Michilimackinac Historical Society, it's sold at the Chamber of Commerce, 560 N. State next to Marquette Mission Park. (Some things do need to be taken with a grain of salt, such as the notion that St. Ignace, during its lumber-fishing-carferry-shipping boom of the late 1800s, was bigger than Detroit and Chicago. (In 1870, Detroit had nearly 80,000 residents, and Chicago nearly 300,000.)

This shoreline walk is a good place to get in touch St. Ignace's harbor and history. Interpretive signs describe subjects from shipwrecks to commercial fishing to the meeting of French and Native American cultures. Look for the Edith Jane, a Mackinaw boat from 1899. The double-ended design, adapted from Indian vessels, made Mackinaw boats the ideal work boats in shallow waters because they could easily be pulled up onto the beach. A small-scale birchbark canoe of Ojibwa design, the workhorse of the fur trade, is inside Indian Village on North State.

The continuous walkway begins at the park by the MARINA just north of the Mackinac Grille (see St. Ignace map). The marina is a wi-fi internet hot spot available to all. By the marina are a gazebo and picnic tables. Now the end of the onetime Wawatam carferry pier is marked by the functioning 52' Wawatam Lighthouse , an authorized navigational aid. It was gleaned by St. Ignace Welcome Center manager Mike Lilliquist from Travel Michigan's Monroe Welcome Center, then being remodeled. At 7 p.m. Thursday evenings from late June through August 18, free BAYSIDE LIVE concerts take place at the marina. Check , then "events."

The boardwalk's north end is at KIWANIS BEACH. Here picnic tables, a gazebo, and a spectacular flower garden make a wonderful place for a picnic, with an interesting harbor view. The sandy beach is a fine place to swim in town. This was once the site of the "Old Mill Slip" by a lumber kiln. Logs were corralled by chain booms so that wave action could peel the bark. Some bark remains on the bay bottom in this vicinity. The city of St. Ignace adds sand here each year.

The main Star Line Dock is just north of Kiwanis Park. The Shepler Dock is just north of that, reached off Lake Street.

ark. The continuous walk extends from the marina to Kiwanis Beach across from Marquette Mission Park and the Museum of Ojibwa Culture. Wheelchair-accessible. No roller-blading, bike riding, or skateboarding. Ample free parking at Little Bear East Ice Arena, just behind the Ojibwa Culture Museum and Marquette Mission Park.
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Mackinac Bridge. In 1957 this majestic bridge finally connected Michigan's two peninsulas across the 4-mile Straits of Mackinac. It's thrilling to cross, beautiful to look at day and night. See history displays and videos at striking Bridgeview Park off the St. Ignace approach. ... more

Bridgeview Park. Great views up at the Mackinac Bridge from a pleasant park with picnic shelters. Interesting historical video monitors and pictures with text about the bridge and previous transporation across the Straits are in an enclosed pavilion with restrooms. ... more

Museum of Ojibwa Culture. See how Ojibwa social values and their subsistence culture adapted to the climate. View change at the Straits in the 1660s from the native perspective of indigeous Ojibwa and Odawa and Huron newcomers, when the French fur trade was moving in. A fine small museum. ... more

Marquette Mission Park. The peaceful park has well-done interpretive panels about the Straits history of Ojibwa, Odawa, and Huron people and Father Marquette's Catholic mission, possibly at this very location. An authentic Huron longhouse and Ojibwa tipi are open without charge. ... more

Native Expressions Ojibwa Museum Store. This peaceful shop carries traditional crafts (quill work, baskets, more) plus certified contemporary Native American art. Here too is the U.P.'s largest selection of books and music about Eastern Woodland Indians and French-Canadian Great Lakes history ... more

Downtown St. Ignace. Downtown highlights: an interesting book and magazine store, a shop with antique lighting and furniture, and a choice arcade of shops ... more

Huron Boardwalk. A mile-long harborfront path with benches shows off a busy harbor and has Mackinac Island views. Interpretive signs and a Mackinaw boat convey the area's rich history ... more

American Legion Veterans Memorial Park. A waterfront park with picnic area, telescope, popular play structure, and beach often used by scuba divers visiting shipwrecks. At the nearby Star Dock, Mackinaw Parasailing ... more

Sunset Cruise under the Mackinac Bridge. 1-hour narrated ferryboat cruise or vespers cruise take visitors under the Mackinac Bridge and out into Lake Michigan for seeing the sunset. ... more

Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay. Docked at St. Ignace, this modern icebreaking harbor tug clears the Straits for freighter traffic each year and is occasionally open for scheduled tours ... more

Dock #3 Park. Former staging area for the car ferry neeed before the Mackinac Bridge, this uncroded park is a nice place for picnics and a view of the Coast Guard Cutter Biscayne Bay. ... more

St. Ignace trolley tour. 2 1/2-hour tour of area on 30-person bus goes across the bridge for Mackinaw City sights as well as St. Ignace's ... more

US-2 Mackinaw Bridge to Naubinway. A terrific introduction to the U.P. after crossing the Bridge, long vistas revealing one shoreline point after another emerge ... more

MANLEY'S FISH MARKET. Outstanding fresh and smoked whitefish, homemade jerky, and beef sticks. They can be eaten at picnic tables on a pleasant, shady lawn ... more

John Herbon Pottery Studio. John Herbon and three fellow potters work and show here. John's classic shapes are simply embellished with lizards, fish, ... more

Jabber Joe's. Offbeat variety/antique shop with frozen custard, too. Strong on candy, repro toys. ... more

Castle Rock. Stairs lead to the top of a natural limestone tower with a grand view of St. Martin Island, St. Ignace, and Mackinac ferries. A great family roadside attraction ... more

Horseshoe Bay Wilderness Trail/Hiawatha National Forest. A one-mile hiking trail through a mixed forest and wetland leads to a secluded Lake Huron beach, part of the 3,800-acre Horseshoe Bay Wilderness within the Hiawatha National Forest. ... more

Carp River Canoe Trail. An easy, scenic trout stream for family paddling with informal campsites by the river ... more

St. Ignace Wi-fi Hotspots. Public Library has wi-fi. 110 W Spruce St. just off I-75 Business (State St) south of downtown. ... 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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