December 19, 2016
The Best of 2016
As we start planning our adventures for 2017, we’ve been reflecting on what a great year we had this year. We visited some amazing new places as well as some of our favorite familiar spots.
Bond Falls in Winter
Since the first time we visited Bond Falls a few years ago, I have wanted to see it in the winter. This year we made that happen. While it’s easy to drive to Bond Falls in the winter, it was quite the adventure getting down the ice-covered stone stairs with ice-covered metal railings. We did eventually make it and it was worth it.
Spelunking at Cumberland Caverns
This was one of our all time favourite adventures. It was so much fun crawling through mud, wiggling sideways through narrow passageways, climbing over cave walls, and sliding down slippery mud-covered slopes.
We’ve visited Hungarian Falls a few times in the past but this was the first time we were able to make our way down 75 feet of slippery rock and clay slops to get to the bottom of the last drop. The Hungarian Falls are some of our favourite waterfalls in Michigan and are well worth stopping to check out if you’re in the Keeweenaw. This trip we brought one of our friends.
Sturgeon River Gorge at Canyon Falls
Canyon Falls is a well known waterfall in the Upper Peninsula, located on US-41. However, most people don’t venture past the waterfall to explore the gorge and waterfall that follows. This year we took the time to do just that. It was incredible. The trail becomes non-existent but the massive rock structures, towering gorge walls, rumbling rapids and Upper Falls were extremely rewarding.
Visiting Mackinac Island isn’t something we typically do any more. We try to avoid the heavy tourist areas. But this year my mom and I went to the island for the Lilac festival. We discovered Fort Holmes tucked away on one of the highest points on the island. The fort was neat, but the views were much more impressive. Roughly 360 feet above Lake Huron, this spot has some of the most beautiful scenic views on the island.
The first time we visited Sugarloaf Mountain was last year. We hiked up the side of the mountain to 470 feet above Lake Superior. The views left us aw-struck. This year I revisited, brining my mom with me to admire one of the best views in Michigan.
Big Bay Lighthouse
Who wouldn’t enjoy a stay in a Bed and Breakfast that was in a lighthouse? Historical and beautiful, my mom and I took a trip to one of the few lighthouse bed and breakfasts in Michigan. The lighthouse sits on a cliff about 60 feet above Lake Superior and the tower was a perfect location to watch sunsets and sunrises.
The Hike Through Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore
The highlight of our year was the 42.2 mile hike through Pictured Rocks. We started at Munising Falls and hiked through to the Grand Marias Welcome Center. There are no words to describe how amazing this trip was. We were able to experience Pictured Rocks how it was meant to be experienced and saw so many things that we never knew existed within the park. While the whole hike was beautiful and memorable, there were a couple moments that were magical.
Sevenmile Creek and Dragonflies
On day three, we arrived at Sevenmile Creek campground and headed down to the mouth of the creek for sunset photographs. While we were sitting on fallen trees in the middle of the creek and watching the sunset over Lake Superior, we noticed a few dragonflies buzzing around. By the time the sun set, there were dragonflies everywhere. We could hear them fly by us, see them in some of our photographs, and dodged them in hopes of not getting hit by them. It was something we haven’t ever experienced.
Grand Sable Dunes Sunset & the Milkyway
Day four we camped at Masse Homstead. This campground backs up to the Grand Sable Dunes where the Ranger told us that we would see the best night sky. We headed up the very steep dunes for sunset and were in awe over the pure beauty. We could see Au Sable Lighthouse, where we had been earlier that day. It was hard to believe that we had hiked all that way.
The sunset from this spot was beautiful, but the Ranger was right. The best night sky we had ever seen. I felt like I could touch the milkyway. It was so beautiful.
Letherby Falls is one of the most impressive and unique MIchigan waterfalls we have visited. It took us two tries to actually find it as it’s off of nameless two tracks. But it was well worth the struggle. We spent a few hours there and are looking forward to a return trip.
I can’t express enough how much we love Slate River. We have spent hours wadding through the water, climbing over the waterfalls, and carefully maneuvering the tall river walls. Every time we visit, we discover something new. This year we saw fish jumping out of the water and trying to swim up Slate River Falls. They didn’t make it very far, but it was interesting to watch. We also visited Kukuck fall, one we hand’t previously seen.
It may be one of the most difficult rivers we’ve been on with what seems nearly impossible challenges to overcome, but it is so beautiful.
King Lake Campground
We found a new campground that we loved this Autumn. Beautiful views, far away from everything, and small. It’s located near Ottawa National Forest, an area we’re looking forward to exploring more in the future.
We feel so blessed to have the opportunities to explore the beautiful world that surrounds us. There’s no place we’d rather be than out in nature. We’ve had a great year and as always, are looking forward to what 2017 brings us. Happy New Year to you all and keep on adventuring.