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 www.stignace.com , 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.
Return to St. Ignace
POINTS OF INTEREST
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
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
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