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A Question For The Experts Here

A forum to discuss lighthouses in the US Great Lakes Region
(Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and the lake lighthouses of New York & Pennsylvania)

Postby wheland » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:22 am


Esther and I are planning our trips for 2011 and one that we are thinking of is going to visit two of my nephews who live in Michigan.

The younger one lives outside of Detroit and the older one lives in Marquette. If we did this trip it would be a driving trip and I'm trying to decide which way gives me more bang for my buck, so to speak.

Here are my possible routes to and from- leaving from the Trenton, NJ area.

Leg 1 -

Driving up to Buffalo, NY and then the Ontario side of Lake Erie to the Detroit area stopping along the way to see the lighthouses in the buffalo area for sure and any others that are easy to get to. We just did most of the lighthouses on Lake Erie from Erie, PA to Sandusky, OH.

Leg 2-

Option 1-

Driving from the Detroit area up to Marquette along the Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron side of Michigan over the Macinac Bridge and up to Sault St. Marie and west to Marquette.

Option 2-

Driving across southern michigan and then up the coast of Lake Michigan to Macinac Bridge and up to Sault St. Marie and west to Marquette.

Leg 3 -
Option 1-

Leaving Marquette and driving to Escanaba and then back to Sault St. Marie and the driving down the coast of Lake Huron to Barrie and Toronto and then around Lake Ontario and cross over to Alexandria Bay and drive back to Trenton via I-81.

Option 2-

Leaving Marquette and driving to Escanaba and then back to Sault St. Marie and the driving down the coast of Lake Huron to Barrie go to the Bruce Pe ninsula and down to Port Huron / Sarnia and over to Toronto and back home.

Here's what I'd like to know - basically which option of Leg 2 and 3 have the most diverse types of lighthouses and are the easiest to get to without too much back and forth driving.

Thanks in advanc for any info you can give to me- especially if you've driven these basic routes and have ideas on places to stay or eat.

I'm planning on taking 11 to 14 days to do this trip.


Dennis
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:40 pm


Well, I can tell you about Leg #2, all right.....I've been to those places quite a lot.

Of the lights, ones you can see, without getting on a boat....

Lake Huron, from Detroit to Mackinaw City (I-75 to M-29 to M-25 to M-13 to US-23)......

Tri-Centennial
Windmill Point
Marine City (Old Peache Island)
Port Huron Range Lights
Fort Gratiot
Port Sanilac
White Rock
Harbor Beach*
Point Aux Barques
Tawas Point
Sturgeon Point
Alpena*
Old Presque Isle
New Presque Isle
Presque Isle Range Lights
Forty Mile Point
Cheboygan Crib
Cheboygan Rear Range
Old Mackinaw City
McGulpin Point

All these are easy access, can walk right up to them or at least view them close (Except Harbor Beach and Alpena).

Assuming you take I-96 & then I-196 from Detroit to Holland, then to Mackinaw City (From there US-31 to M-22, loop back to US-31, slight detour on M-37, back to US-31).....

Holland (Big Red)
Grand Haven Inner*
Grand Haven Outer*
Muskegon S. Breakwall*
Muskegon S. Pier*
White River
Little Sable
Pentwater*
Luddington*
Big Sable**
Manistee*
Frankfort*
Point Betsie
Grand Traverse
Old Mission Point
Charlevoix*
Petoskey*
McGulpin Point
Old Mackinaw City

These are all easy access or can be seen (in the case of Holland, from across the channel at the State Park), however you will do a lot of walking out on the piers of the (*) starred ones, and in the case of Big Sable, a 3-mile round trip walk. You will have to make a big loop to see Grand Traverse, and a 34-mile detour (there & back) to see Old Mission Point from Traverse City.

So, while I'm a big Lake Michigan fan, for ease of un-crowded road access and for the saving of time, I would probably pick the Lake Huron route. You'll find there are a lot of small detours you will have to make off US-31 and back on the Michigan side, mostly in cities with the attendant traffic, and a couple big ones, too. There are some small detours off the highways on the Huron side as well, but they are mostly rural and not as traffic-laden. I've done both of these routes many times over the past decade. The Michigan side is the more 'Touristy' and therefore has more people and traffic.
Last edited by CHUCKX53 on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wheland » Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:44 pm


Chuck,

Thanks for the input. It is appreciated. I'm still in the early planning stages of trips for next year but any info is helpful.

Dennis
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:00 pm


As for diversity, I do so like the Michigan lights, but the Huron ones are great as well. It's a tough call for me...Take a look on Lighthouse Friends and see what you think.

I'll have to get the list on the good places to stay along both routes from Marce (she keeps all that stuff), and post later on those.
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Postby wheland » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:05 pm


Sounds good to me. There is no rush that's for sure.
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Postby CHUCKX53 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:34 am


OK, Dennis....Here's a list of some of the places we bunked down at along your proposed routes....

<Lake Huron Side>

Detroit Area.....

Shorecrest Motor Inn
1316 E. Jefferson
Just blocks from Tri-Centennial Light, close to Detroit Lighthouse Depot & Windmill Point Lighthouse.

Baymont Inn
20675 13-Mile Rd. (Right off I-75)

Bay City......

There are a few motels located along Hwy. 13, but they are dumps. Best we found was south of Bay City at Saginaw....
Motel 6
966 South Outer Drive, Saginaw.
(I-75 at Holland Avenue, Exit #149 B)

Algonac......

River's Edge Motel
703 Saint Clair River Dr
(On M-29 as it goes through town)
This is a real nice place, is a converted house.

Port Huron.....

Day's Inn
2908 Pine Grove Ave.(On Hwy 25)

Knight's Inn
2160 Water St. (Right Off I-94)

Alpena.....

Water's Edge Motel
1000 State St. (On US 23, South end of Alpena)

Rogers City.....
Presque Isle Huron Shores Motel
385 N. Bradley (On US 23, North end Rogers City)

Cheboygan.....

North Country Inn Motel
1355 Mackinaw Ave. (On US 23, 1 Mile West of Cheboygan)

Mackinaw City.....

Beachcomber Motel
1011 South Huron Ave. (On US 23, just East of Mackinaw)
This is a real nice place.
_________________________________

<Lake Michigan Side>

Grand Haven......

South Shore Motel
805 South Beacon Rd. (Right on US 31)

Luddington......

Nova Motel
472 S. Pere Marquette Hwy (Exit 166 off US 31)

Leland.....

Whaleback Inn
1757 N. Manitou Trail (On M-22, 1 Mile South of Leland)
This is a fancy, nice place.

Traverse City.....

Traverse Bay Inn
2300 US 31 North (East Edge of Traverse City)

Charlevoix.......

Courtside Motel
1526 Bridge St. (On US 31, West edge of Charlevoix)

Mackinaw City.....

Beachcomber Motel
1011 South Huron Ave. (On US 23, just East of Mackinaw)
This is a real nice place.
________________________________

Also, check out this site for deals and good lodging....

http://www.momandpopmotels.com/app/v1/index.php
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Postby wheland » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:46 pm


Thanks. I'll keep these places in mind when I start to actually plan the trip. Spoke with Esther about it on the way to Wayne, NJ this afternoon. We'll be going to a Pure Prarie Leauge / Poco concert tonight and on to CT to visit her brother and family tomorrow. Left my daughter in charge of the old homesteD FOR THE WEEKEN.

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Postby Grover » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:07 am


...
Dennis ...

How I envy your trip ...

Viewing the dueling lists Chuck compiled, having
pretty much combined them for one trip when I did
it, I dont know how you choose one over the other.

I do know two things ... OMP is on both lists and that
would be my number one light to see regardless ... and
seeing the lists and knowing the first time thru in 2002
I shot on film, I do need to go back ...

... and soon
"There are two pips in a beaut, four beauts in a lulu,
Eight lulus in a doozy, and sixteen doozies in a humdinger.

No one knows how many humdingers
there are in a lollapalooza."
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