Description - The Straits is likely one of the most unique travel regions in America. Serving as the gateway to the rugged areas of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and to the Canadian provinces, it is rich in natural and cultural wonders that center on three Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, and Michigan. Connecting the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula, the Mackinac Bridge is perhaps one of the most photographed manmade structures in America embracing over five miles of beauty and engineering feat. Sculpted by glaciers and inhabited by Native Americans, the rugged picturesque land includes sand and cobblestone beaches, fossilized shores, huge rock outcroppings, scenic forests, expansive interior lakes, and abundant wildlife. The recreational wonderland awaits with its hundreds of charter and tour boats, to unsurpassed hunting areas, to world-class fishing opportunities, to its multicultural heritage and much more.
Copyright: Michigan State Parks & Forests
Situated on 305 acres of sandy bayside land, Petoskey State Park is home to the Petoskey Stone.
- Water-oriented sports reign throughout the Straits region. Boating of all sorts and sizes is pursued enthusiastically. Ocean freighters pass through locks mesmerizing observers, charter boats carry anglers to world-class fishing sites, canoeists enjoy natural inland lakes, while fast moving streams attract expert kayakers. Dense forest trails are found throughout the region including those on the 860,000-acre Hiawatha National Forest where hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders explore the edges of Great Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron. In addition, the Straits host the St. Ignace Segment of the multi-state North Country Trail exploring a variety of viewscapes. History is found offshore on surrounding islands, beneath the Great Lakes' surface, lining hundreds of miles of shoreline, and tucked among quaint communities. Overnight accommodations are plentiful including the ever-growing sport of winter camping. Many of the state facilities now permit winter camping, but those that don't still welcome winter day users such as snowmobilers, cross-country skiers, ice skaters, and ice fishermen.
Recreation - The Straits Travel Region provides the visitor with limitless recreation. Tourists view historic sites, view man-made and natural sights, bird watch, snowmobile, hike, sail, fish throughout the year, enjoy ferry rides, shop in quaint harbor towns, watch sunrises and sunsets and a host of other pastimes.
Climate - The Straits normally experiences mild summers with average temperatures around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average 14 - 18 degrees F (-10 to -8 degrees C). Yearly rain and snowmelt in the region averages 28 - 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect," thus depositing significant amounts of snow within a short period of time causing hazardous road conditions.
This region is the link between Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula via the 5-mile Mackinac Bridge. Major thoroughfares include Interstate 75, U.S. Highways 23 and 31, and State Routes 68, 27, 123, 28, 129, and 134.