Lake Huron (Mostly)
We’d heard lots of good things about Door County in Wisconsin so we thought we’d check it out. It’s sometimes called the Cape Cod of the midwest, as is Tawas Point in Michigan, so we hit both of those, with Cheboygan in between. It was a relaxing trip and we got to see some areas of our home state that we don’t get to often, and I’m glad we went to Door County so we don’t have to wonder about it or visit again. I still prefer the Lake Michigan coast of Michigan. The scenery is more dramatic and there’s a wider variety of restaurants to choose from.
Day 1: Straits State Park
The Plan: We wanted to get across the Mackinac Bridge our first night.
The Reality: We achieved that.
Days 2-6: Door County, Wisconsin
- Scenic drives
- Attending a fish boil
- Hiked Eagle trail at Peninsula State Park
- Hiked at Whitefish Dunes State Park
- Hiked at Newport Bay State Park
- Visited Cave Point County Park
- Drove around most of Door county
- Attended a fish boil at the Old Post Office
The Plan: We heard Door County is very beautiful and “the Cape Cod of the midwest” so we decided to go and compare since we’ve also been to Cape Cod. We planned to hike every other day and drive around to check out the scenery.
The Reality: We did three very different hikes at three different parks in the county. We also covered most of the county by driving. The villages are cute and did remind us of Cape Cod and New England in general. They also reminded us why we don’t visit cute villages more often. We’re happy we went to Door County and prefer wilder and less manicured.
Days 7-11: Cheboygan State Park, Michigan
- Hiking in Cheboygan State Park
- Hiking at Ocqueoc Falls
- Hiking alongside Mullett Lake at Topinabee
- Hiked in Cheboygan State Park
- Hiked at Ocqueoc Falls
- Hiked alongside Mullett Lake at Topinabee
The Plan: We haven’t spent much time on Lake Huron, sometimes called “the sunrise coast” of Michigan, or in fact in the upper eastern part of the state in general. And it sounded like there was nice hiking at Cheboygan State Park.
The Reality: The hiking we did at Cheboygan State Park was nice, with lots of beach and water views. Ocqueoc Falls were a disappointment for the largest falls in the lower peninsula and the trail along Mullett Lake would be more pleasant on a bike than on foot.
Days 12-16: Tawas Point State Park, Michigan
- Hiking Sandy Point in the state park
- Hiking the Highbanks trail along the Au Sable river
- Hiking the Chippewa trail at Negwegon State Park
- Hiked Sandy Point in the state park
- Hiked the Highbanks trail along the Au Sable river
- Went to Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area
The Plan: I remember camping near Tawas once with my grandparents when I was a kid, and recall a nice beach and a pier. And since we’ve also seen Tawas Point described as “the Cape Cod of the midwest” we thought we’d make that comparison too.
The Reality: We must have camped at the private campground in town next to the pier, not at the state park. But minus the pier the state park is a much nicer campground with more space and a better beach. The hiking in the state park and along the Au Sable was great. Due to the weather, we swapped our last planned hike for a visit to the Tuttle Marsh Wildlife Area instead. It’s a pleasant, low-key spot near Oscoda.
- We used Hiking Michigan (paperback) for information on hiking*
- The Michigan DNR website has lots of good information on Michigan state parks.
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