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Old 06-12-2017, 11:09 PM   #1
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Any advice on the U.P.?

My wife and I are planning a short trip from Bayfield WI up the peninsula of Michigan. We're going to do 4 to 6 days around the 4th of July. We are looking at stops in Ontonagon, Houghton, maybe Black River, we don't have a particular agenda.

Just wondering if anyone has experience with this area and can share any tips? Either about the towns or the cruising?

Thanks!
BD
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:54 AM   #2
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I'm going to bump this thread. Hopefully someone here has some experience with the Upper Peninsula of Michigan?
Thanks,
BD
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:19 AM   #3
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My folks used to live in the UP and so much to see and do from the shores of Lake Superior. This is one of dozens of marina links; Just Google:

lake superior boating and marinas
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:25 AM   #4
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I just clicked on this thread to see what "UP" was.
Most on the east coast and the west coast probably wouldn't know.
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:28 AM   #5
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Thanks. I've reached out twice by email and once by phone to the city marina in Houghton to reserve a slip Zero response. So frustrating. Why publish contact info if you're not going to reply?
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:30 AM   #6
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Eric,
My bad. It's such a common term around here I forget the rest of the world doesn't get exposed to. Thanks for the reminder.
BD
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:52 AM   #7
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Hello BD,

Sorry I missed your first call for information, we were out on the boat for 2 weeks! We lived in the UP for a number of years, leaving 3 years ago.

If presented with the time you offer, I would spend it on a circumnavigation of the Keeweenaw Peninsula.

My port calls would be Houghton, Copper Harbor, and Lac La Belle. Isle Royale also interests me, though it's off the grid and probably a separate trip to do it properly.

In Houghton, be sure to have breakfast at Soumi and have the pannukakku (Finnish pancake). There are nearby mine tours (never did it) and a number of small-town shops and restaurants. It is a great town. Try The Library for dinner, and stop for some beer at Keeweenaw Brewing Company.

From Copper Harbor, find a way to be driven up to Brockway Mountain Drive on a good weather day. There are a number of walking trails around the marina, be sure to take advantage of them. There is also kayaking here.

If you have good weather, get out to Manitou Island. There is a dock you can tie to on the north side of the eastern peninsula of the island, then hike a rugged trail east to the lighthouse property. It's a small adventure.

You will find more to do...just dig around on your stops.

Be careful - though you know this - in this area, help is a long way coming and the water is deadly cold.

It WILL be an epic trip, please post a report when done!

Best Wishes

Jeff
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:56 AM   #8
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No recent experience. Some 40 years ago, attempted to camp on the Misery River west of Houghton/Hancock. It lived up to its name. The number of mosquitoes were the worse ever and the bites were the worst of the worse. Ended getting a motel room in Houghton. At the time, it was a nice college town but very poor. There is a lot of beautiful scenery up there and few inhabitants. Hope you like pasties.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:18 AM   #9
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Heading that way now on my way to Lake Superior. Michigan has an excellent harbor book and website for information on ports. Combine that with Active Captain and Google maps. On my trip through the lakes, I've found that boaters at your current marina are some the best sources of information for the next few days ahead.

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Old 06-25-2017, 01:20 PM   #10
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Just got back from a road trip to the "UP". Drove up to the "Soo". Fantastic scenery. Beautiful water. I would love to cruise that area along the coast. In a boat that is.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRENE View Post
Hello BD,

If presented with the time you offer, I would spend it on a circumnavigation of the Keeweenaw Peninsula.

My port calls would be Houghton, Copper Harbor, and Lac La Belle. Isle Royale also interests me, though it's off the grid and probably a separate trip to do it properly.

Best Wishes

Jeff
Thanks for the great tips on Houghton. I really hope we can get to check out a mine in that area, but I especially appreciate the restaurant tips! Touring is optional but breakfast is a must!

Isle Royale is a destination for sure, but off limits to us for two reasons: range and dogs. Our current boat only has about 80 miles range with reserve, and dogs are strictly prohibited there. We'll be in the market next year for a longer range boat, and then maybe we'll get a dog sitter for the week.

Copper Harbor is a serious consideration for this trip but we don't have the time for a circumnavigation of the peninsula. Save that for next year too!

We're plenty cautious about the area but I appreciate the reminder. I am hoping this is the first of many voyages in this region. I'll be sure to update trip reports when internet service allows!

Thanks,
BD
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Donsan View Post
No recent experience. Some 40 years ago, attempted to camp on the Misery River west of Houghton/Hancock. It lived up to its name. The number of mosquitoes were the worse ever and the bites were the worst of the worse. Ended getting a motel room in Houghton. At the time, it was a nice college town but very poor. There is a lot of beautiful scenery up there and few inhabitants. Hope you like pasties.
Donsan,
We've had similar experiences with flies in the region. Last weekend at Devil's Island our dingy was completely black with them before we could even get into it. Maddening.

It's amazing how remote it is up there. I'm going to avoid reminding my wife about that. She worries enough already.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
Heading that way now on my way to Lake Superior. Michigan has an excellent harbor book and website for information on ports. Combine that with Active Captain and Google maps. On my trip through the lakes, I've found that boaters at your current marina are some the best sources of information for the next few days ahead.

Ted
Hi! Thanks for the tip about dockmates. I've reached out to folks at my home marina and I've gotten a few good tips, but I honestly didn't think to ask people along the way too. I will for sure.

Welcome to the region. I'm interested to hear what your Lake Superior plans include.
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Old 06-25-2017, 10:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ddalme View Post
Just got back from a road trip to the "UP". Drove up to the "Soo". Fantastic scenery. Beautiful water. I would love to cruise that area along the coast. In a boat that is.
It is insane to me how clear the water is! Last weekend my wife screamed because she saw rocks and thought we were going to hit bottom. I thought so too!
Turned out to be 18' deep.
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Old 06-25-2017, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
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It is insane to me how clear the water is! Last weekend my wife screamed because she saw rocks and thought we were going to hit bottom. I thought so too!
Turned out to be 18' deep.
Zebra mussels.
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Old 06-26-2017, 05:51 AM   #16
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Hi! Thanks for the tip about dockmates. I've reached out to folks at my home marina and I've gotten a few good tips, but I honestly didn't think to ask people along the way too. I will for sure.

Welcome to the region. I'm interested to hear what your Lake Superior plans include.
Planning to head West down the South shore to Copper Harbor. Then up to Rock Harbor (Isle Royale) and Washington Harbor. Hope to spend a week on Isle Royale. Then over to Grand Marais. Down the coast to Superior and Duluth. Hopefully a week in the Apostle Islands. Then back along the South Shore to Whitefish Bay. All in, about 800 miles in 4 to 5 weeks in Lake Superior. Everything subject to change based on the weather.

Ted
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:30 AM   #17
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Sounds like an incredible trip. For the Duluth area we prefer Barker's Island marina, and for the Apostles you can't beat Pike's Bay Marina. Please let me know if you have any questions about either area, and have a safe journey.
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Old 06-26-2017, 06:57 AM   #18
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Thanks, much appreciate the recommendations!

Ted
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