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How much time to spend in UP?

Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 09:14 AM
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How much time to spend in UP?

We are celebrating retirement during this crazy time by taking a road trip from Chicago to the UP after Labor Day. We want to start in Escanaba for a couple days, hoping to see the migrating monarchs. We’d also like to check out Seney National Wildlife Refuge

The rest of our road trip will include:

Pictured Rocks – afternoon cruise

Brockway Mountain Dr to Copper Harbor, including a tour of Quincy Mines

Porcupine Mountains, Lake of the Clouds

Apostle Islands – guided kayak trip

Easy hikes in all these locations.

We are hoping to do a combination of camping and hotels.

My question is, how much time would you spend in each location. Being newly retired, for the very first time ever we are under no time restraints. I would love to just wing it, but I’m worried that I won’t be able to get reservations at some of the hotels/cottages/campgrounds I’m hoping to stay at if I don’t book ahead of time. Would two nights in each location be sufficient? Would any of these spots require 3 or more nights?

Thanks so much for any advice you can give me.

Laurie
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Old Aug 3rd, 2020, 02:50 AM
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Is everything open?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2020, 03:57 AM
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You could check out Northland Outfitters campground in Seney. As to how many nights would depend on what you want to do there. You can take a kayak trip through the national park right from the campground. Do the self-drive through Seney National Park. A day trip to Tahquamenon Falls is nice and The Brew Pub is open. Lots of hiking and biking in the area. We actually spend a week there every year.
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Old Aug 5th, 2020, 05:22 PM
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Thanks, Grace. I'm looking into the kayak trip in Seney. Looks really nice.
Laurie
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Old Aug 7th, 2020, 12:02 PM
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Sorry it this is a dumb question, but this title keeps catching my eye! What is "UP"?
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Old Aug 7th, 2020, 03:10 PM
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Upper Peninsula (Michigan)
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Old Aug 7th, 2020, 06:03 PM
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Thanks janisj (i really did try to figure it out )
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Old Aug 7th, 2020, 06:19 PM
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I only knew that because around 1900 my Dad's father came out to CA from Houghton Lake in . . . the UP
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Old Aug 8th, 2020, 08:13 AM
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Seney is a flat, marshy area, I’m not familiar with the NWR though.

Pictured Rocks: try for a clear sky sunset evening cruise.

Brockway Mtn is a nice one way drive. There is a National Historic Park centered on the mining area near Calumet.

I often stay in Escanaba but frankly can’t leave soon enough. 2 nights?

If it’s sunny and not windy there’s a sandy beach at Au Train.

For the Apostle Islands most probably stay in Bayfield. The Indian-owned casino/hotel is fine also, on the Red Cliff Reservation.

Everything is Eastern time but not Wisconsin.

There’s a Yooper (UPer) “museum” near Ishpeming.


JanisJ: Houghton is in the UP and home of Michigan Technological U. Is that what you mean? Houghton Lake is near the middle of the northern part of the Lower Peninsula right on US 127.


Last edited by tom_mn; Aug 8th, 2020 at 08:39 AM.
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Old Aug 8th, 2020, 10:20 AM
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tom_mm: OOPS I knew that -- I meant Houghton. Typed the 'Lake' part because my dad used to talk about having been to Houghton Lake when he was taken to visit relatives back in the 30's but regretted never actually seeing the original family home in Houghton. Got the two confused in a bit of brain fade . . .
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Old Aug 8th, 2020, 02:47 PM
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Thanks, Tom. The only reason we want to go to Escanaba is to get up early to see the monarchs migrating, weather permitting. So I'm thinking staying our first night there, unless you can recommend someplace else south of there, but not too far from Escanaba. From there we want to go to Portage Bay Forest Campground for two nights - again, weather permitting.

Which leads me to my next question. Since so much of our trip is going to be "weather permitting," I hate to make reservations anywhere. Do you think reservations are necessary the week after Labor Day?

Thanks,
Laurie
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Old Aug 8th, 2020, 08:54 PM
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My UP trips are mostly business but I try to squeeze things in like Brockway Mtn which is pretty with views of Lake Superior, nice last week of September for changing leaf color (Michigan is probably the best Midwestern state for leaf color). You can also drive nearly to the top of the highest pt in Michigan, Mt. Arvon, east of L’Anse, bring a map, it’s not as nice a view as Brockway though.

Escanaba is the largest UP city but it is a factory town, whatever it is, it’s enormous (paper?). The Comfort Suites is a standard, predictable business hotel. You can buy fudge and pasties in Escanaba. The Cornish pasty is an unremarkable food IMO.

There’s a pretty lake just south of Au Train called Au Train lake, you might consider staying there, kind of central.

i don’t know anything about monarch migration being concentrated one place vs another.

Edit: The famous place for monarchs is Stonington Pt which is across the bay from Escanaba, probably a 45 minute drive, you could stay closer in Rapid River.

Last edited by tom_mn; Aug 8th, 2020 at 09:09 PM.
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Old Aug 9th, 2020, 05:29 PM
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Thanks again, Tom. Do you think I'll have trouble reserving places the second week in September if I just wing it?
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Old Aug 10th, 2020, 05:34 AM
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I don't really know about reserving places in September, you can always get cancel-able reservations at an ordinary hotel.
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