My first visit to the Great Lakes and I am yearning to return! On the NW shore of Michigan's lower peninsula is Sleeping Bear Dunes National Seashore, not a park as much as a region of clear lakes, sand dunes, forests, and lovely small towns.
Anishinaabek natives settled here some 3,000 years ago, then in 1837, Michigan became a state and the Lakes shipping and commerce boomed. Manitou Passage, the stretch between the mainland and the Manitou Islands became a shortcut for shipping on Lake Michigan. Today, the town of Glen Haven is historically restored to reflect this time.
From the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (22 miles of paved bike trail) to the Dune Climb (3.5 miles of sand) to the Platte Plains Trail (15 miles of rolling hills & lakes), there is so much to enjoy. I could have stayed another week, ferried to the Islands, and found time to simply sit by the water!
Long ago, in the land that is now Wisconsin, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. They red and swam and swam, but soon the cubs tired and lagged far behind. Mother bear finally reached the opposite shore and climbed to the top of a bluff to watch and wait for her offspring. But the cubs drowned. Today "Sleeping Bear," a solitary dune in Michigan overlooking Lake Michigan, marks the spot where mother bear waited. Her lost cubs are the two Manitou Islands. -- Anishinaabek Indian Legend
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover