A. MACKINAW CITY
Located on the northernmost tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Mackinaw City offers visitors the rare opportunity of watching the sun rise over Lake Huron and set over Lake Michigan. Colonial Michilimackinac is a reconstruction of a once thriving fur-trading post and palisaded fort. Mill Creek Historic Park offers log-cutting demonstrations in the rebuilt water-powered sawmill that was once used to cut lumber for the construction of Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island. Guides in period costumes give various craft demonstrations.
Take the ferry from Mackinaw City to Mackinac Island.
From Mackinaw City cross the Mackinac Bridge to the Upper Peninsula and head north on I 75 to Sault Ste. Marie.
B. SAULT STE. MARIE
There is so much to see and do in Sault Ste. Marie. Take a boat trip or dinner cruise through the Soo Locks, take a St. Mary’s River Lighthouse cruise, visit the River of History Museum, the Museum Ship Valley Camp. Follow our link for details on this interesting town.
Follow the Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway. Here, the pines of Hiawatha National Forest slope to white beaches along the bay. A number of scenic turnouts dot the Byway. A particularly nice stop is at Point Iroquois and its Lighthouse built in 1870.
From Point Iroquois continue following the Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway to Whitefish Point and the famous Shipwreck Museum featuring the famous shipwrecks of the Great Lakes.
C. WHITEFISH POINTE
Often called the “graveyard of the Great Lakes” Whitefish Pointe has seen more shipwrecks than any other section of the Great Lakes. Its most famous is that of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Here you can visit the museum and lighthouse and take a scuba diving tour of the Edmund Fitzgerald that lies at the bottom of Lake Superior off of Whitefish Pointe.
From Whitefish Pointe follow Rte. 123 to Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
D. TAHQUAMENON FALLS STATE PARK
From Tahquamenon Falls State Park follow 123 south to Rte. 28 west to Seney National Wildlife Refuge.
E. SENEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
At Seney the drive crosses the Fox River. From Seney follow Rte. 28 to the little town of Munising.
F. MUNISING & PICTURED ROCKS NATIONAL LAKESHORE
From Munising follow Rte. 28 to Marquette.
Marquette offers its underwater preserve of shipwrecks, some accessible to divers, the Marquette Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes history, tours of the 1866 Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, and a walking tour of the 16 block area of historic 19th century buildings along the waterfront.
From Marquette continue to Copper Harbor.
H. COPPER HARBOR
Now a popular resort that has retained much of its charm and atmosphere from its boom days of copper mining. This now quiet harbor once prospered as the region’s leading port. Nearby Ft. Wilkins State Park contains the restored fort built in 1844 and abandoned in 1870. The Brockway Mountain Drive offers a spectacular view from 735 feet above Lake Superior. Visit the Brockway Mountain Nature Sanctuary, or take a Delaware Copper Mine tour.
Follow Rte. 41 or Rt. 2 back to Hiawatha National Forest.
I. HIAWATHA NATIONAL FOREST
This forest extends across the peninsula from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan. It is dotted with tiny lakes, gorgeous waterfalls and canoe trails where paddlers can see an assortment of waterfowl and songbirds. Hiking trails weave through the woodlands where black bears, deer, wild turkeys and moose thrive.
Heading east on Rte. 2 at Rapid River the drive heads south on Rte. 183 along the shore of the Garden Peninsula and Big Bay De Noc to the historic Fayette Historic State Park.
J. FAYETTE HISTORIC STATE PARK.
Here, Fayette is being restored to its 19th century history where an iron-industry community once thrived. About 100 years ago Fayette was a bustling company town where barges delivered ore and ships hauled away tons of pig iron. The furnaces and many of the town’s original buildings are still here, including a hotel, several houses, the town hall and remains of the company store. Tours of the village begin at the town visitor center. It is also an excellent spot for a picnic and seven miles of hiking trails wind through beech and maple forest, along sandy beaches and atop 90 ft. high limestone cliffs that overlook Green Bay.
Heading back to Rte. 2 follow it to St. Ignace, the last stop on your tour.
K. ST. IGNACE
At St. Ignace you can stroll along the downtown boardwalk and docks that edge the beautiful blue Moran Bay. Fresh fish is featured in many of its restaurants. Visit the Marquette Mission Park and Museum of Ojibwa Culture to learn more about the Ojibwa Indians who formed the base culture of the Upper Great Lakes and why Huron Indians established a village here in 1671. And learn why Father Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, established a mission here.
This is the end of the Upper Peninsula trip. Check out our other Great Lakes Scenic Drives if you wish to continue on this incredible journey.