Northern Michigan is Fun for the Whole family


Up north is a special place for many. Anyone familiar with northern Michigan knows what I’m talking about. My family has been going there since I was a boy, and to this day I cherish trips to this special region. From the Great Lakes to vast forests to trout streams to endless trails, Michigan has something for every outdoor enthusiast.

Here are three destinations you should consider visiting.

Mackinac Island
The name appears as both “Mackinaw” and “Mackinac” on a map. Mackinaw is the town and Mackinac is the bridge and island. For Mackinaw, the last letter of the name varies due to different Indian and British spellings. You can reach this island by ferry or boat.

Mackinac Island is a 3 1/2-square-mile landmass that sits close to the mainland in Lake Huron. “The Island” surely has a tourist feel, but the surrounding natural world is incredible. And so are many of the shops and restaurants. The term “fudgie” comes from the number of tourists who devour the world famous fudge found all over the island. I eat my share every time I visit, and recommend the maple and cherry.

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Grayling is a quaint little community with a strong outdoor ambience. The Au Sable River is one of America’s special waters. This beautiful trout stream flows right through Grayling, and is where Trout Unlimited was founded. The history of the river combined with excellent fly fishing for brown trout makes the Au Sable in and around Grayling a must-fish river for every trout angler.

Fred Bear is one of the all-time great archers. He was an innovator in the production of modern archery, and his company, Bear Archery, was founded in Grayling. Even though the company moved to Florida in the late 1970s, there is a remaining Fred Bear connection to Grayling. Hunters recognize the contribution the town and its residents made to the growth of modern hunting.

Beaver Island
Finally, Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan is one of my absolute favorite destinations for outdoors adventures. I’ve been there a number of times to fly fish for carp and smallmouth bass.