Camping in the U.P., Any advise? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-25-2010, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Camping in the U.P., Any advise?

Wife and I are looking to drive her Jeep from Indy, up the west side of Lake Michigan, through the UP and then back down the East side of the lake after some camping. Doing so at the end of July.

Any advise on must-hit camping/state parks/national parks/moderate wheeling/restaurants/bars/rafting/hiking/etc? Also, we're planning to bring the dog, so if you have any knowledge of restrictions on that, let me know.

Appreciate it!

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post #2 of 13 Old 06-25-2010, 12:06 PM
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Do a Google search for the Hiawatha National Forest. You also have to stop at the Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, MI. Cost is $12/person but worth every penny
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-25-2010, 12:29 PM
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You have...HAVE...to check out DeYoung Zoo (spelling???). For about $7 you get to hold newborn tiger, wolf, leopard cubs...If that thing floats your boat...I thought it was an awesome experience. Cool zoo. Better than the "caged" zoos of Brookfield and Lincoln Park. They take care of their animals there, and they don't look nearly as miserable as in the state funded places.

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-25-2010, 07:17 PM
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Also the Painted Rocks are worth checking out up in Munising, MI. You take a nice ferry ride to see all the crazy formations and different colored rocks. There's a ton of hiking trails nearby and more than enough to do to keep you busy for a day or so. I did a trip around Michigan myself last summer and went from Detroit north to Mackinac Island, then to Munising. Saw the Pictured Rocks that day and then drove on to Traverse City.

From there, went to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes, which were awesome as shit. Took the Jeep out on there and also rented buggies. Had more fun in the Jeep of course. I highly recommend hitting this place up if you venture to the western side of the state at any point on your trip. It' about an hour north of Grand Rapids.

Then went to Grand Rapids and back to Detroit. We also saw Sleeping Bear Dunes, which I recommend skipping but for 1 huge ass 400 ft. long sand dune. Yes, 400 ft. It was insane. Michigan is a beautiful state and I hope you enjoy your trip!

Here's a pic from Silver Lake

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post #5 of 13 Old 06-27-2010, 10:48 PM
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My one recommendation for the U.P. is bring alot of bug spray if you are going in July.

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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Do 119 north of Harbor Springs. Beautiful drive. Cross the bridge, go west and check out Big Spring (largest spring, 40 feet deep, clear water, amazing). Go north and hit Pictured Rocks. Go west, and north up to Copper Harbor. Keep going west and check out Porcupine Mtns. There are waterfalls everywhere to see so check out all those while your driving around. On the way home, go east and go to Drummond Island (being awarded BFGs outstanding trails award this summer).

Theres is all sorts of stuff to see really. I just got back from the UP yesterday. I could spend months up there and not get bored. It's amazing.

Hit me up if you want more info.

Edit: I've been up in August lots of times and bugs aren't bad at all.

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Last edited by oz97tj; 06-28-2010 at 08:58 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-29-2010, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, and if anyone has more, keep it coming!

This trip is sneaking up on me, and it's one area I've never been...so even figuring out how much time I need to give to each park is difficult. Time to find a good map...

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post #8 of 13 Old 07-01-2010, 12:14 AM
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I've looked high and low and have NEVER found a decent map that has everything I need or want in it. I have about 6 map books covering the state of Michigan. Some have various bounderies. Some are trails or ORV routes. Some are obscure roads, etc. I also have about 5 different map sets for my GPS. In the end, I generally figure out where I need to be. lol

The best book I have and the one I use the most is the Michigan Atlas and Gazetteer. I've glanced past them numerous time at the local Walmart / Meijer / gas station and every other place that has them, and never really gave them much credit because it isn't really geared toward to offroader. However, a friend who is a trail map nut told me they are great so I bought one. In the end, I rarely use the others any more. Between my topo and the normal road map gps maps and this book, I don't need any more. The only real downfall is many of the trails aren't marked as such. There will be a line drawn and sometimes they are blocked off or no longer in existence on the ground but the book shows it. However, it's still by far the best I have use. Basically, it's easy enough to figure out my location based on gps maps showing my location and cross referencing the Gazetteer and then I can figure out a route to my destination rather easily. I did a week long exploratory trip in the UP last summer with no real destination other than what we would pick that morning and this map book never let me down. It's the best map book out there for large area exploring.

It also has lots of places of interest (land marks, interesting geography, waterfalls, etc.) and campgrounds and all sorts of other nice stuff that comes in handy.
http://www.amazon.com/Michigan-Gazet.../dp/0899333354

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post #9 of 13 Old 07-08-2010, 06:13 AM
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make a stop at silver lake sand dunes in hart mi cool place going this sat
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-08-2010, 08:48 PM
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My wife and kids just did this last month. Except we started and ended in Ohio. We went to sleeping bear dunes and hung out on the beach, looked at many neat rocks, etc. We camped at Wilderness state park, right on Lk MI. Hung out for a day at Newberry. There's an old decomissioned(abandoned?) campground on the bank of the Taquahmanon River. Right on the water, the whole place to yourself, b/c the road in is too rough and/or prone to flooding. Perfect for the Jeep. Hiked by Taq Falls. We spent a day or so in Munising. Took a Glass-bottom boat shipwreck tour that was amazing. poked around pictured rocks and saw a few waterfalls. Definitely planning to return to the Munising area for further exploring next summer maybe. Camped at J.W.Wells state park near the MI/WI line, again right on Lk MI. Nice park. Timing wasn't right but we'd hoped to hit the Maritime museum in Sheboygen,WI. Same goes for the Russell Military Museum off 94 on the WI/IL state line. Visited friends in the chicagoland area. Indiana Dunes Nat'l Lkshore has some nice beaches.

Several great places to Mtn bike, if that's your thing, too.

A lot of spots that we did visit (or thought about visiting) are saved to "My Maps" in Google:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,56.513672&z=6

We had a BLAST and can't wait to do it again. Hope you have as much fun as we did.

-Joel
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post #11 of 13 Old 07-16-2010, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds great, and thanks for the list.

Anyone have advise for Drummond Island? We'd like to spend half a day or so and probably expect to take it fairly easy. No Winch and just A/T tires with a mild lift on a weekday....
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-16-2010, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichthus View Post
Sounds great, and thanks for the list.

Anyone have advise for Drummond Island? We'd like to spend half a day or so and probably expect to take it fairly easy. No Winch and just A/T tires with a mild lift on a weekday....
You would be best to go out with another person. For the most part, the state trails aren't too difficult, but there are some holes and such that could get you into trouble. Worse yet, you are on the end of the island where there is no cell reception and you're not near anyone. It's a long walk out if something happens.

You could easily spend a day doing all the state trails though. Stop into the visitors center to get maps. Or better yet, stop into the Bear Track Inn and talk to Steve Walker. He works with GLFWDA quite a bit and has been a huge part of getting the trails turned into Routes. He also has a jeep and wheels and may be up for showing you around.

If you really want to only spend a half day and you are set in going by yourself, then take the north route out to Marble Head. It's an easy trail that will keep you out of trouble and there are some steps to play on out at Marble Head. Halfrisch trail is a fun and tight trail. Tight and twisties is also a fun trail. Shale beach is a cool place to check out, but go in from the north. The south trails (the ones marked on the map as challenge routes) are pretty rocky and have some very deep holes in them so I would avoid those trails. Everything else, you should be good as long as you don't do something stupid. Like I said, it's a long walk out with no way to contact help.

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post #13 of 13 Old 07-17-2010, 07:42 PM
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All the above are great suggestions but some are a ways from Lake MI. You can stop in any of the Lake side towns and find something cool. Just stay off the freeway and on the 2 lane. We are spending a week at Silver Lake and there is plenty to do. I would stay south around the lake and bays. Wilderness state park is a cool place to camp but it's small so you might want to check availability. If you can handle rustic camping there are several state forest and national forest campgrounds. There are also some private 4 wheel parks not to far inland that you might try. Enjoy!
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