1. City of Menominee
The City of Menominee is the gateway community for visitors entering the Upper Peninsula. The city has many recreational opportunities and historical features as well as commerce. At the time of the first settlement of Menominee all of the country from the Menominee River to Lake Huron belonged to Mackinaw County. Menominee County was set off in 1863 when Eleazer S. Ingalls petitioned the Michigan legislature for passage of an act to organize. The City of Menominee is the county seat of Menominee County and was chartered in 1883. The name Menominee is derived from the Algonquian Indian language. “Omanomen” is rice and “inini” is persons. A member of the tribe would be an oma nomini. The Menominee numbered in the thousands and their region was from the now Escanaba River to the Milwaukee River and from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. The tribe was first visited by Europeans in 1634 when Jean Nicolet stopped at Menominee in his search for a westward passage to the Pacific Ocean. He found the Indians to be friendly and a hunter/gatherer society that lived in wigwams (domed huts) near the present Riverside Cemetery. The present site of downtown Menominee was all delta where the wild rice grew and waterfowl was abundant. This was filled in by the lumber companies as the city grew. In 1854, the Menominee were moved to their current reservation in Wisconsin. Archeological excavations at Riverside Cemetery in 1956-57 revealed man inhabited the area for at least three thousand years. They were of the “Old Copper Culture” and “Mound Builders”. The first permanent settler on the Menominee River was Louis Chappee; a French-Canadian voyageur who established a trading port for the British-American Fur Company in 1796. Chappee was forcibly removed from his post by William Farnsworth who was married to Queen Marinette, granddaughter of a Chippewa chief. Farnsworth had won favor with the Indians when he interceded after Chappee had three Menominee braves jailed at Fort Howard after a fight in which Chappee’s thumb was bit off. Farnsworth was able to obtain their release. In gratitude, the tribe gave Farnsworth a land grant that included Chappee’s post. Chappee moved five miles upriver and established a post at what is still called Chappee’s Rapids. Chappee died and was buried there in 1852. There is a historical marker on this site on County Road 581; Lumber Industry & the White Pine Capital of the World. The history of Menominee is largely identified with the progress of the lumber manufacturing industry. The first saw mill was a water power mill built in 1832 by Farnsworth and his partner, Charles Brush. Other water mills subsequently followed but none were profitable; however, a new era was at hand. This was the introduction of steam power and improved machinery. From the year 1856 until the last log drive in 1917, approximately 30 sawmills operated. What was then called the world’s most modern steam operated lumber mill was constructed in 1863 by Daniel Wells and Harrison Ludington of Milwaukee. In 1867, the Boom Company was formed to handle the log drives and scaling operations. They operated 41 dams on the Menominee and its tributaries and in its busiest year, 1889, sorted and scaled 4,245,000 pine logs making Marinette/Menominee the White Pine Capital of the World. The Twin Cities reached their greatest population by 1900 with Menominee totaling 12,810 and Marinette 16,195. A few mills still operate today but Marinette and Menominee economy has given way to a diversified industrial base including paper mills, auto parts, foundry, shipyard, furniture, chemical plant and helicopter manufacturing among others. Menominee is a home rule city with a full time city manager. There is a mayor and eight aldermen to govern four city wards. The current population is around 9500 persons in the city and 26,000 in the county.
2. Historic Waterfront District
Downtown Menominee is located on Green Bay at First Street and 10th Avenue. The turn of the century buildings house specialty shops, antiques, restaurants and art galleries. One example of a historic structure is the Opera House built in 1902. Downtown Menominee provides various recreational opportunities. Many beaches, parks and marinas present locations for sun-seekers to boat, swim and fish. The Great Lakes Memorial Marina and Park are located in this district. The marina has a ramp for all sizes of boats, electricity, docks (including overnight dockage), gas docks, and pump-out. The park is 5.7 acres with 1100 feet of waterfront. There are restrooms, picnic tables, park benches, a children’s playground and a band shell with summer concerts taking place on Thursday nights and a festival in August. Near the Spies Public Library, on the northern end of the district is the Veterans Memorial Park, a popular guarded swimming area with volleyball nets and picnic tables.
3. Mouth of the Menominee River
At the mouth of the Menominee River are a boat launch and the Menominee North Pier. Somewhat difficult to find, the access to this area is Harbor Drive, off 1st Street and south of the Waterfront District. At the end of the pier is a light tower that was built in 1927. Fishing is allowed along the pier; it is a well-liked spot for sun bathing and watching anglers come and go along the river. Nearby is Tourist Beach. The beach has picnic areas and no lifeguards.
4. Menominee Marina
Here are 20 Transient Slips and 243 Seasonal Slips at the Menominee Marina. Shopping at a variety of specialty stores is made easy, as many shops are located within walking distance from the Marina in the Historic Waterfront District. Another major shopping center is only a short walk away. Also within walking distance are the Menominee Historical Museum, Spies Public Library, a supervised swimming beach, a large park with picnic area, and Menominee’s icon, Menominee North Pier Light otherwise known as the Menominee Lighthouse. Throughout the summer the Marina/Historic Waterfront District is home to the “Concert in the Park” series held at the Menominee Band shell on Thursday evenings. • Marina: 45° 06” 21″ N, 87° 35” 58″ W • Radio Channel: 22 and 16 • Phone: (906) 863-8498 • Amenities include: Electricity (30 and 50 amp), restrooms, showers, gasoline, courtesy vehicle, playground/park, grills/picnic tables and laundry.
5. Menominee County Courthouse
Menominee County Courthouse, located at 839 Tenth Avenue in Menominee, is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places and is a notable example of “High Victorian Italianate” style. It is the only remaining Michigan Courthouse of this style. When the county was first organized, the assessed property in the county was valued at $160,001.25. In view of this fact, the people came to the conclusion that they could afford to take the risk of building a good courthouse.
6. Menominee County Heritage Museum
The Menominee County Heritage Museum is located at 904 11th Avenue in Menominee. It is open from Memorial Day-Labor Day, Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors also enjoy the beautiful, restored St. John’s Catholic Church from 1921.
7. John Henes Park
John Henes Park is located on the north side of the City, access to the park is off Henes Park Drive. A 45-acre recreational facility with 2,600 feet water frontage on Green Bay the park has numerous amenities. Picnic tables, grills, several shelters and pavilions, restrooms, playground, baseball field, sand volleyball court, guarded swimming beach, fishing, nature trails, children’s zoo and ample parking.
8. Menominee North Pier Lighthouse
The Menominee North Pier lighthouse is located in Menominee’s harbor. The station was established in 1877. The current structure was built and its light was first lit in 1927. The light was automated in 1972. The foundation is a concrete pier. The 34-foot tall octagonal cast iron building is marked in a distinctive red, with a black lantern and white base. A Fourth Order Fresnel lens was originally installed, but was replaced with a modern 300 mm. acrylic optic lens. The original lens is now at Sand Point Light in Escanaba. The building originally had a diaphone fog signal structure attached, but was later removed. The iron catwalk was removed in 1972 when the light was automated. This light is paired with a large rear range light. The tower is a 50 feet square pyramidal steel skeletal tower with gallery. It is painted red and located on the Menominee North Pier about 600 feet from the pier head light. It may be accessed by walking the pier. The site is open, but the tower is closed.
9. Great Lakes Ships, Alvin Clark
The Mystery Ship, the Alvin Clark, was first discovered in November of 1967 when commercial fishermen entangled their nets on some object 110 feet below the surface of the Green Bay waters. The Alvin Clark was a single-deck, two-mast, square-stern wooden sailing ship, 113 feet long, 24 feet wide and 14 feet deep. She was mostly built of white oak and had a main mast of 110 feet. The ship was built in 1864 in Trenton, Michigan, probably by John Clark who had a son named Alvin. Accounts from the Green Bay Advocate of July 1864 describe the ship as one caught in an unexpected squall and was capsized under full sail near Chambers Island, approximately 15 miles from Menominee. Three members of the crew drowned. Two others were picked up by a passing ship. The Alvin Clark left its watery grave of 105 years on July 29, 1969, and was brought into port in Menominee. The Mystery Ship spent many years docked in Menominee where visitors were able to board her. As the years passed, the ship began to deteriorate and was placed in dry dock. Finally, as only time would tell, the ship withered away and now is forever gone. Over 6,000 shipwrecks have been plotted in the Great Lakes and over 30,000 people have died in shipwrecks on the lakes.
Great Lakes Ships, Capt. Dan Seavey. Under an ancient spreading oak in Forest Home Cemetery in Marinette, Wisconsin, is the grave of one of the Great Lakes most notorious characters, Capt. Dan Seavey. Born in 1865 in Bethel, Maine, he ended up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after becoming broke from the Alaska Gold Rush. Acquiring a trim 40-foot ketch, Seavey named it the Wanderer and sailed to Escanaba, Michigan. For the next 20 years, the Wanderer visited many ports along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan and Green Bay. It was always one of the last vessels to sail before ice-up and among the first to clear port when the ice melted. Tales of the Wanderer limping into harbor, covered with snow and caked with ice from bowsprit to stern, are still told in Escanaba. Soon, whenever anything was missing in ports from Menominee to Gary, Indiana, Seavey got the blame. He even stole a ship when its cargo just wasn’t enough. After many blatant acts of robbery, a federal revenue team began a search for Dan. Once, a Chicago fish company decided that Seavey’s empire and hideout on St. Martin’s Island was becoming too powerful. They sent a full crew up to run Seavey off the island. Capt. Dan finished the skirmish by using a cannon, which he lashed to the foredeck of the Wanderer, to literally blow away the Chicago men. Time eventually took its toll on the pirate, passing away in 1949 at the Eklund Convalescent Home in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
10. Airport Park
A county-owned park along the shoreline of Green Bay. This is where the first airport of the Menominee area was located. This park offers a beautiful beach along with a fabulous view of Lake Michigan.
11. Bailey Park and the West Shore Fishing Museum
Bailey Park has 4,800 feet of sand beach on the Green Bay shore with unsupervised swimming, a picnic area, pit toilet, boating and fishing on 74 primitive acres. On the north side of Bailey Park is the West Shore Fishing Museum. This is the historic home and fishery site of pioneer fisherman, Charles Bailey. It is dedicated to depicting the fishing history along the west shore of Lake Michigan of Green Bay. Bailey Park is located approx. 15 miles north of Menominee on M-35. The West Shore Fishing Museum is located within the park’s boundaries and was once the site of the Charles L. Bailey commercial fishery. The park is adjacent to the Bailey Property, once the home of a commercial fishing family. Ten years ago only the house, chicken coop and carriage shed remained, all in poor repair. Creation of the West Shore Fishing Museum began in 1997 by the Bailey Property Preservation Association. The all-volunteer Association works under the direction of Menominee County which owns the property and buildings. During the past ten years, hard work has transformed the property into a showcase museum. Restoration of the buildings and commercial fishing exhibits are 99 percent complete. Restoration of the fleet of commercial fishing boats is the Association’s next project.
12. Kleinke Park
A thirty-four site campground (all sites with 50-amp electrical hook-up), pavilion, service building with flush toilets and showers, sewage dump station, well, day use area with picnic area, unguarded swimming beach, carry-down boat ramp, and fishing. The park is twenty-four acres in its entirety on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Ice and fire wood are available in park. A host camper is on site to answer questions and make sure showers and restrooms are kept clean. A playground for the kids and picnic area with a pavilion are next to campground.
Soon after the little settlements at Menominee and Cedar River had taken root a few people began to make homes for themselves along the Bay Shore where they could travel by boat in summer and over the ice in winter. With no roads and only a trail near the shore, the move to settle inland was slow. In the fall of 1866 the Ingallston mill in the township of Ingallston was built by Charles B and Judge E.S. Ingalls. The mill was sold and burned in the spring of 1874. In 1872, Mellen Smith built a shingle mill on the shore, in the town of Ingallston. Robert Beattie, a fisherman, was one of the pioneers who came to Ingallston in 1867. His name has been given to Beattie Creek. Owen Gartland and Louis Grabowsky also settled in the neighborhood at the same time. Owen was a cooper and made kegs for the fishermen to pack fish in. Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Quimby managed the large boarding house erected by the Ingalls brothers to accommodate mill workers. Children attended school at one of the mill camps for three months during the summer. Teachers were paid by subscription. The first school, Bay View, was established for the year 1877-78. Nine children were enrolled. In 1887 the town was listed as “Ingalls”, the “ton” or “town” was added later and had a population of 250. The town had a Postmaster, daily mail delivery, 3 general stores, 3 lumber and shingle mills, one cooper shop, one saloon, one Justice of the Peace, charcoal kilns and a large boarding house. In 1900, Ingallston Township produced more herring than any other fishing place in America.
The Stoney Point Boat Launch is a public boat launch that also has a pit toilet and fish cleaning station. There is a small fee charged to launch boats. A pay Pole is located near launch. This helps offset the cost of maintenance of site.
14. Arthur Bay
‘Arthur Bay, formerly named Leathem, is considered a ghost town of Menominee County and is located south of Cedar River, near where M-338 intersects M-53. About 1878 this place on the bayshore became a scene of bustling activity when Leathem & Smith set up a lumber and shingle mill and began logging operations. Year by year, for over a decade these operations became more extensive until in 1887 there were several hundred men at work in various woods camps and the store near the bay did a heavy business. In that year the mill cut 1 million shingles. In 1890 the population had reached 100 with tri-weekly stage service, with mail to Menominee, Ingalls, and Cedar River. The main job of logging was soon ended; the mill burned, and Arthur Bay was once more left to the fishermen. John Leathem sold his interests in 1887 to W.S.Horn, who renamed the place for his son Arthur. It has since been known as Arthur Bay. Horn sold the mill to J. Crozier, and in 1896, and Crozier sold to Charles Zeiser. Dwindling resources again plagued another small mill town and in 1905 the Michigan Gazetteer had the following description of Arthur Bay: “A rural post office…18 miles north of Menominee, whence it received a tri-weekly mail by stage.” -Charles Zeiser, Postmaster, saw mill and general store keeper. By 1910 the population declined to 25 with only the school building and general store remaining at the east end of county road 338. The school closed its doors in 1953-54. All buildings are now privately owned.
15. J.W. Wells State Park
Named after a well-known pioneer lumberman and mayor of Menominee for three terms, J.W. Wells State Park was donated by his children in 1925. Through the 1930s and 1940s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built many cabins, constructed water and sewage systems, and landscaped; many of the historic structures still stand today. The 678-acre park has 3 miles of lakeshore, modern camping, rustic cabins available year-round, ample sandy beaches and picnic areas. In addition to campsites and the rustic cabins, the park has a historic rental lodge. The Baystone Lodge opened in the summer of 2006, and has a full kitchen, two full bathrooms, a screened porch, a great room and it can sleep twelve. With over 6 miles of hiking trails, part of which go through an old growth forest, the park is an ideal escape. The park also accommodates winter recreation activities including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
16. Cedar River
About midway along the U.P. Hidden Coast Recreation Route is the small community, with a big history, named Cedar River. Settled in 1850, Cedar River – once called Cedar Forks – had an abundance of cedar trees which attributed to the name of the town. A busy community in its day, Cedar River once had a population of 400 and was home to many businesses such as hotels, general stores, shipping areas, fishing, mills and agriculture. The lumber mills and shingle mills played an important role in the rebuilding of the city of Chicago after the “Great Chicago Fire of 1871.” However, many of the mill camps had burned during the “Peshtigo Fire of 1871” which burned a wide swath through Menominee County. Today, only four original structures remain from the milling days. Two of the structures are churches; one is being converted into an art gallery and gift shop, and are located on the old Main Street of Cedar River’s early days. The lighthouse keeper’s house is at the end of 20.50 Road. The fourth structure is the old Crawford house, which is being renovated into a bed and breakfast.
The Cedar River is high in tannic acids, coming from the surrounding vegetation along the route, making the water a root beer color. The smallmouth bass fishing is extraordinary. Besides bass, fishermen can also catch northern pike, pan fish and even salmon during the fall spawning runs. There are plans to reintroduce sturgeon to the river by rearing them in a portable trailer, next to the river. They will then be used to the native river water and should stand a better chance of returning to the same location to spawn. It is a full day’s float in a canoe or kayak, from the County Road 360 Bridge when the water is high enough in the spring and early summer. Many good fishing holes can be found along the way. During the lumber era, logs were floated down the river to the mill at the river mouth. Upright posts, visible today just upstream from the M-35 bridge, were used for sorting logs on their way to the sawmill.
17. Cedar River State Harbor of Refuge & Boat Launch
The Cedar River State Harbor is the first public harbor in Michigan to offer boaters the option of purchasing environmentally friendly biodiesel marine fuel. The harbor has seasonal and transient slips available with access to Green Bay through the mouth of the Big Cedar River. In addition to fuel, the harbor has pump-outs, toilets and showers. The railing along the river has become a popular fishing spot. The marina has 61 Transient and 61 Seasonal slips. Seasonal slips are available for rent by calling 906-864-1040. The channel coming into the Cedar River State Harbor was dredged in 2006. Depths are approximately eight to ten feet. Start at the green can (about one mile out), proceed to and follow the red buoys. Amenities include: water, electricity (30- and 50-amp), restrooms, showers, gasoline, diesel, biodiesel fuel (B5), pump out, boat launch, long-term parking, dog run, day-use dockage and grills/picnic tables.
18. Forest Islands ORV Trail
The Forest Islands ORV trailhead can be accessed off the U.P. Hidden Coast Recreation Route, just south of the Cedar River bridge in the community of Cedar River. The trail offers over 30 miles of interconnected trails traversing through the Escanaba River State Forest.
19. Cedar River State Forest Campground; Cross-Country Ski Trail
Located six miles northwest of Cedar River on River Road is the Cedar River North State Forest Campground. Part of the Escanaba River State Forest, the campground has 18 sites for tents and small trailers; four of the sites are walk-in tent only. Rustic campground includes vault toilets and potable water from a well hand pump. Nearby is Peterson Pond, an excellent wildlife viewing area. Fishing and canoeing is available along the Cedar River and Lake Michigan. On-site is the Cedar River Pathway an eight-mile trail available for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.
20. Fox Park
Located 5 miles north of Cedar River, Fox Park is a 60-acre site with 6,000 feet of Green Bay coast and has swimming (no lifeguard), fishing, picnicking, playground, pit toilets and 20 rustic campsites for tents or small trailers with water available from a well/hand pump.
21. O.B. Fuller Park
Located 15 miles south of the city of Escanaba, the park has 82-acres of wooded land along the Green Bay shoreline at the mouth of the Bark River with modern campground facilities. Amenities include 25 “back-in” sites with electric and water, dump station, showers and flush toilets, ice, firewood and pop machine available, picnic area, swimming beach (no lifeguard) small boat ramp and river bank fishing. Near the O.B. Fuller Park entrance, biking lanes begin on the U.P. Hidden Coast, allowing travel through Escanaba.
22. Misery Bay
From Lake Shore Notes, written by Mrs. Cornelia Jensen the Native American members of the Potawatomi, Ojibwa and Ottawa nations from Ontario established Misery Bay in 1780. This settlement was near the No-See-Um Creek, most likely named for the small stinging gnats. It is believed that Misery Bay received its name during a less than desirable fishing season. However, other sources vary. A 1982 Delta County Historical Society article quotes early settler Joseph Wellman on the origin of Misery Bay. He said the little inlet about 11 miles south of Escanaba received its name following an off-shore blizzard in which two area fishermen were frozen to death. Wellman was the son of Civil War veteran Hiram Wellman, who came to Delta County via Washington Island and settled at Misery Bay in 1868.
23. Ford River
The town of Ford River got its start during the lumbering boom of the mid to late 1800s. It was named for the body of water that was scouted in the 1840s by Thomas Ford, a governor of Illinois who explored tracts of the Upper Peninsula. By 1844, a small water-powered sawmill was erected a short distance upstream from the present village of Ford River. The mill was succeeded by several small steam-operated mills and had holdings of 10,000 acres of prime woodland. By 1890, production of lumber had reached 50 million feet. Ford River at one time boasted its own boarding house, hotel, town hall, machine shop, school, post office, blacksmith, tavern and slaughterhouse. Though the original town site has long since vanished, divers and diggers today still find evidence of Ford River’s storied past near the mouth of the great river. The history of Ford River is well-preserved in a display at the township hall on County Road 521, a few miles west of M-35.
The mouth of the Ford River marks the boundary of Little Bay de Noc and Green Bay. It is known for its smallmouth bass fishery and walleye and is an important spawning ground for walleye and steelhead. It is an ideal springtime destination for canoeists. Spring runoff increases the volume of this river, offering enjoyable day-trip adventures. Over the years, the river has hosted canoe races, smelting parties, and dog sled races.
24. Ford River Boat Launch
Located on the Ford River, this boat launch allows access to Lake Michigan and Little Bay de Noc. The launch was upgraded in 2008. The construction upgrades included dredging the boat launch area, installing a new 36-foot wide by 70-foot long concrete ramp, and a new 5-foot x 30-foot universally accessible courtesy pier. The project also included installing a new ADA compliant vault toilet and reestablishing the parking lot area.
25. Portage Point Marsh
Located at the very southern area of the city of Escanaba, off Portage Point Lane, is a 600-acre coastal wetland complex. According to the DNR, about one-half mile of raised dike provides an elevated foot-trail through cattail marsh and shrub thicket. This dike affords an excellent view of Portage Bay and supplies easy access to the sand beach on the south side of Portage Point. Canoes, duck boats and other small watercraft can be launched into Portage Bay, but there are no developed launch facilities, toilets, or other amenities. Waterfowl and other wildlife viewing, swimming, environmental education, hunting and trapping are popular activities.
26. Delta County Airport
Delta County Airport is a public airport two miles southwest of Escanaba. The airport covers 944 acres and has two runways. It offers limited commercial service, which is subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.
27. Hannaville Indian Community
The Hannahville Indian Community is located 15 miles west of Escanaba off of US-2/41. The community is home to Potawatomi people who have lived in the region for many hundreds of years and have played an important role in the history of the area. Those interested in learning more about Native American history and culture can visit the Potawatomi Heritage Center, Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:00pm, located on Hannahville B-1 Road. The community also attracts many visitors to its Island Resort and Casino, located on US-2/41.
28. City of Escanaba
In the heart of Delta County is the city named for the smooth slabs of limestone found in the bed of its nearby river. Escanaba, modified from the Native American word for “flat rock,” was originally spelled “Escanawba” when the town was organized in 1863. Pre-European tribal people from the early Copper Culture are believed to have inhabited the bays of Delta County as far back as 5,000 years ago. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in the 1830s recorded three villages of the Noc Indian communities on the northern curve.
29. Ludington Park Area
The Ludington Park Area is located between Escanaba’s downtown and Little Bay de Noc is Ludington Park. The park is 120 acres filled with amenities. It houses a full Marina and many additional recreation opportunities. Aronson Island is connected to the park via a bridge and has a guarded public beach, a natural area, bathhouse, small playground, fishing pier and boat launch. The Karas Memorial Band shell, located in the park, has weekly performances every Wednesday evening during the summer. The Harbor Hideout Playground Complex is a 22,500 square foot children’s adventure facility. This playground is suitable for children of all ages and is barrier-free. Ludington Park also houses a non-motorized path, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a basketball court, picnic areas, a pavilion and restrooms. The marina has 165 boat slips, docks and moorings with designated seasonal and transient berthing. A state-of-the-art harbor service building complete with restrooms, showers and laundry accommodations was constructed in 2000. The Sand Point Lighthouse and the Delta County Historical Museum are both located in Ludington Park.
30. Sand Point Lighthouse and Delta County Historical Museum
The Sand Point Lighthouse and Delta County Historical Museum are both located in Ludington Park. The lighthouse has been restored to its original state. The lighthouse is open to the public, during limited hours and visitors may climb the tower. A green buoy shows the location of the wreckage of the steamer Nahant, which is also a dive site. The museum holds information about Escanaba’s first pioneers, the railroads, and local timber industry and maritime history. In the park, the Delta County Historical Society also operates an archive facility open to researchers year-round, under limited hours in the winter. The Sand Point Lighthouse was built in 1867, by the National Lighthouse Service, at a cost of $11K. It was a story-and-a-half, rectangular building, standard for the times, with an attached brick tower topped by a cast iron lantern room which housed a fourth order Fresnel lens. The light, a fixed red signal, first showed on the night of May 13, 1868.
31. Bonifas Fine Arts Center
At the William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, you can tour gallery exhibits, participate in art workshops, learn something new in the educational classes and enjoy theatrical productions. The Alice Uren Powers Gallery, hosts a variety of traveling exhibits as well as displays by regional artists throughout the year. There’s no charge to visit the exhibits “Big Bill” Bonifas came to the Upper Peninsula from Luxembourg in the 1880″s to cut timber and make his fortune.
32. U.P. State Fairgrounds
Escanaba is home to the Upper Peninsula State Fair, held annually since 1928. The fair accents the importance natural resources and agriculture to the region. Presently, the grounds encompass 120 acres and include a grandstand, half-mile racetrack, horse barn and riding arena, several livestock buildings and a pocket park. The pocket park, created by the DNR, has a wildlife display, teaching station, picnic area, stream and waterfall, and a pond stocked with fish for young anglers to master their skills.
33. North Shore Boat Launch and Fishing Pier
Located on the Escanaba River and one of the largest in the state, this boat launch has a barrier-free skid pier, car/trailer parking and restrooms. The launch site is lighted during the late evening and early morning hours. There is a $4.00 daily launch fee, permits available at the site.
34. Escanaba Ore Dock
Escanaba is a railroad, industrial and ore shipping center, and has one of the best natural harbors on the Great Lakes. Once famed as “The Iron Port of the World,” Escanaba still plays an important part in Great Lakes ore-shipping. During the navigation season, large boats steam in almost daily to the docks to receive their allotment of ore from the Upper Peninsula’s mines for the furnaces of Gary, River Rouge and other lower lake ports. A conveyor type ore dock has been constructed for the loading of iron ore pellets.
Named for the business partners of lumber tycoon Nelson Ludington, the township and village of Wells has its own unique history. In fact, the City of Escanaba was once part of Wells Township until 1866. Wells was the home of Ludington and Daniel Well’s 1852 water-powered lumber mill, which was succeeded in 1888 by Isaac Stephenson’s newer and larger mill one mile downstream. The town grew rapidly with a population of 800 by the turn of the century. Wells had its own boarding house, school and post office. The I. Stephenson Lumber Company became a enormous operation at the mouth of the Escanaba River. Near its peak, the company produced about 40 million feet of lumber annually, along with mountains of cedar poles, posts and shingles. I Stephenson Co. was instrumental in the building of the Escanaba & Lake Superior Railway to supply its mills with timber. Nothing but submerged ruins survives at the mouth of the river, a small echo of Wells legendary past.
36. The Escanaba River
The Escanaba River, named by the Chippewa Indians for the flat rocks it flows over provides many opportunities for canoeists and fishermen. The river is known for its walleye fishing and provides a location for small boats when the waters on the Bay are rough. The river contains an abundant quantity of brook, brown, and rainbow trout.
37. Pioneer Trail Park
This Delta County Park is located along the Escanaba River, just north of the City of Escanaba. This park is 74-acres and has 58 RV electrical sites, 36 with water as well as 17 primitive tent sites with picnic tables and fire pits. Other amenities include: dump station, showers, flush toilets, pay telephone, ice, firewood and pop machine, picnic area, playground and play field, optional pay cable television, shoreline fishing along the river and a small boat ramp. In addition, the park is home to a burial ground for early pioneers of the area. In early times, Indians and missionaries were to have visited the area. In about 1844, a sawmill was built (where the dam now stands) just west of the Park. In 1851, that sawmill was sold to the Nelson Ludington Company and was fostering a small settlement. The hard life of these early pioneers ended at their burial ground on the ridge that was later included in Pioneer Trail Park. The sawmill grew into one of the nation’s largest mills, the I. Stephenson Co. This company expanded by moving downstream to the mouth of the Escanaba River. The I. Stephenson Co., from its earlier land holdings along the lower River, sold the Pioneer Trail Park land to the County of Delta. In a contest, for all the school’s children, the name Pioneer Trail Park, in memory of those early pioneers who passed this way, was submitted by a young John Bloomstrom and was chosen from 380 entries.
38. Little Bay de Noc
Definitely the largest attraction, based on volume or area, is the great body of water lying to the east of the U.P. Hidden Coast Recreation Heritage Route. Many public spaces allow for viewing, dipping and launching into the bays. With a year-round season, fishing the water has played a significant role in the formation of the Hidden Coast culture and continues to influence the area’s economy today. Fishing the bays is a year-round event. During the winter months, thousands venture out on the ice to try their hand at catching splake, pike, whitefish, perch or a 10-plus pound walleye. Little Bay de Noc provides fish with protection from winds and waves as well as an ample supply of food. In the winter, walleye migrate into the bay, and it is here where visitors can witness, or be part of, a busy “shanty town.” Fishing picks up during the early spring run. Anglers can try their luck near the mouths of the rivers. Casting in shallow water can prove to be rewarding as well. Throughout the summer, many anglers troll the open water. Into the fall, salmon fishing south of Escanaba picks up.
39. City of Gladstone
The city of Gladstone owns and maintains 11 park and recreational facilities totaling over 1,000 acres and in addition, the public schools and the DNR maintain facilities available for recreational use. Gladstone is home to the largest Fourth of July celebration in Delta County, which draws thousands of tourists annually. Gladstone, located seven miles to the north of Escanaba, developed relatively late due to its collection of sand dunes and swamps that made travel difficult. Gladstone received its name from the British Premier, William Ewart Gladstone, whose help was sought in establishing a railroad line to the city from Minneapolis. In 1877, the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad Company (Soo Line) decided to make Gladstone a shipping point and lake terminal. The company built extensive merchandise, flour and coal docks at Gladstone, including a huge grain elevator. Delta Avenue was the city’s main drag and soon was home to liveries, opera houses and merchants of all types. The bustling community was incorporated as a village in March of 1888. Gladstone’s population grew to about 5,000 by the year 1900. Public and parochial school were established and a very popular resort, Gladstone’s Hawarden Inn, a luxurious hotel patterned after William Gladstone’s country estate, was developed. The facility featured high-ceiling rooms with fireplaces in every chamber and other amenities. The Hawarden suffered during the bank panic of 1893 and eventually wound up as a convent and school for All Saints Catholic Church. It was demolished when a new school was constructed on the site. Gladstone’s economy diversified with the end of the lumber and veneer days and today is one of the fastest growing markets in Delta County.
40. Van Cleve Park
Gladstone is often referred to as “The Year ‘Round Playground” because of its myriad of parks and available activities. Gladstone’s main park is Van Cleve. Encompassing 62-acres along the coast of Little Bay de Noc, this recreation area has a multitude of amenities for visitors of all ages. Facilities include a tot lot and playground, picnic areas, a multipurpose open field, restrooms, a beach house, two sand volleyball courts, one 20-station fitness course, and a swimming beach with a log rolling dock and a beach raft. The park is home to Kid’s Kingdom, a 14,000 square foot playground. This park also has a gazebo and a pavilion as well as a paved walkway. Adjacent to Van Cleve Park is Gladstone’s harbor and the City Park. This 23-acre site provides facilities such as picnic areas, pavilion, multipurpose open field, softball field, restrooms, basketball court, horseshoe pits and shore fishing.
41. Gladstone Marina
The Gladstone Marina contains 36 slips, a pump-out facility, a harbormaster/restroom/shower facility, wall-side gas dock, small boat launch, grills, a large parking area and one mast hoist. The Gladstone Yacht Club, a social club with a liquor license, is also located at this site and has many events throughout the year open to transient boaters. A Harbor Master is on duty from May 15 to Sept. 1. • Marina: 45° 50′ 15″ N, 87° 01′ 00″ W • Radio Channel: 9,68 • Phone: (906) 428-2916′
42. Gladstone Bay Campground
This 40-acre campground is located along the coast of Little Bay de Noc. Connecting to the campground is a boardwalk that meanders along the coast through a wetland area with interpretive signs to Saunders Point. There are 63 campsites at this waterfront park. A restroom/shower facility, built in 2006, has private unisex showers and wireless internet access. Other amenities include: 30 amp receptacles, water and sewer hookups, pull through sites available, dump station, ADA fire pits, playground, horseshoes, firewood, and ice and soda machines.
43. Gladstone Sports Park and Ski Hill
Located off M-35 on North Bluff Drive is Gladstone’s sports park and ski hill. With three tube runs, lifts and a snowboard terrain park, which includes a 1/2 pike, this is a perfect winter recreation opportunity. The ski chalet includes a concession stand, warming area and restrooms.
The northern area of Gladstone does not fall shy of recreational opportunities. The Bullen Fishing Pier, named after Bill Bullen, a DNR fisheries biologist, provides a great location to cast into Little Bay de Noc. Located across the street is a parking area and restroom. North of the fishing pier is the Kipling Boat Launch. Run by the DNR, this site is available to the public at no charge. There is ample trailer parking and restrooms.
45. Days River Pathway
The postcard scenery and rolling hills on the Days River Pathway makes this the most popular cross-country ski trail on Bays de Noc. The trail winds along side of the Days River through pine, spruce and cedar ridges of the Escanaba River State Forest. Four loops on the trail offer conditions for beginner, advanced, and expert skiers. The trailhead is located two miles northwest of US Highway 2 & 41 between Gladstone and Rapid River. 17.9 miles of DNR maintained trails.
Days River Natural Trail. This short trail wanders through cedar and oak stands along the mouth of the Days River. Tree identification markers are located along the trail.