Four factors created the logging legacy that once dominated the southern reaches of the U.P.: vast stands of timber, wide rivers for transporting logs, well-protected harbors, and a building frenzy that began in southern Great Lakes–area ports like Chicago and stretched west across the treeless prairie. Devastating clear-cuts and diminished demand ended the region’s logging boom by the early 20th century, but those well-protected ports and deep harbors still serve the area well, as busy shipping centers and enviable fishing waters.
These ports can be accessed via U.S. 2, which traces the incomparable Lake Michigan shore west of St. Ignace. One such town, Manistique, sits where the corkscrewing Manistique River, which pours through the sloughs of the Lake Superior State Forest, empties into Lake Michigan. A community of 3,400, Manistique offers proximity to historic sites and good swimming beaches, and it serves as an ideal home base for anglers, boaters, hikers, and other recreationists.
Getting to Manistique
The closest airport to this region is Delta County Airport (ESC) (3300 Airport Rd., Escanaba, 906/786-4902, www.deltacountymi.org/airport.php), which offers limited service via Northwest Airlines. Most travelers, however, will find it easier to venture across the U.P. by car. From St. Ignace, you can reach Manistique via U.S. 2, while Seney and the Manistique Lakes are accessible via M-77 or M-28.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel