Northeast Michigan Map; Courtesy Moon.com
18 Stop and smell the flowers at Alpena’s Arthur E. Sytek Park, located on
the Thunder Bay River. This ½-acre wildflower park has a small boat launch
perfect for canoes and kayaks, a covered fishing platform, and a trailhead for
Alpena’s beautiful 18.5 mile Bi-Path. You can’t go wrong spending a relaxing
day here, no matter what your interest.
19 Follow the path of lumber-era River Rats who followed the floating
logs down the river toward the Alpena harbor. Long Rapids Township Park
offers seven acres of property and a small boat launch suitable for launching
canoes and kayaks into Thunder Bay River for an afternoon paddle.
20 Spend a day at Maple Ridge Township Park, located on the North
Branch of the Thunder Bay River, and take the picturesque wooden bridge
over to a pristine trail area. Explore the 45 rustic acres that include a pavilion
and playground, hiking trails, oxbow, and small rapids.
21 Birdwatch from the unique Alvar Shoreline along the end of Partridge
Point. The land was formed when the soil was scraped away by wind, water
and ice, leaving the 400 million year old limestone bedrock exposed. This
sparsely vegetated natural area is dominated by lichens, mosses, grasses, and
22 The earth’s 45th Parallel runs just south of the Alpena city limits and
is marked by a green sign on Squaw Bay. Don’t leave town without stopping
for a photo halfway in between the equator and the North Pole! (Please
make sure to watch for traffic).
23 Shin-ga-ba Shores Playground is a one-of-a-kind playground, designed
with Ossineke’s Native American heritage in mind. Local elementary school
students assisted in planning the park’s play structures, which includes a
large wooden play fort decorated in art and colorful totem poles.
24 At Sanborn Township Park, you’ll find 4 acres of Lake Huron beachfront
property just down the road from Ossineke State Forest Campground. With
its crystal clear water, fine sand beach, and children’s playground, this park
is a fantastic location for lakeside family fun.
25 Make sure to check out the legendary statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe
the Blue Ox, standing tall in the heart of Ossineke. Babe the ox was built in
1938 by Walter Hayden and was originally placed on the hill across from
the old Lookout Inn, following legend that a white cow on a hill signified
good luck. In 1950 new owners purchased the hill and painted Babe blue.
Babe’s companion Paul was built in 1953 by Paul Domke, creator of the
nearby Dinosaur Gardens. The two were moved in 2006 to their new home
at Ossineke’s blinking light, where they still stand today.
26 Explore further and visit the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse; one of the 7
lighthouses located in the four county region. This lighthouse features a 3.5
order Fresnel lens made in Paris, France. Take the climb to the top to enjoy
the scenic view of Lake Huron, and be sure to stroll through the restored
keeper’s house Maritime Museum.
27 Considering that Alpena County is 66% water, our sunsets are just as
spectacular as our sunrises with more than 1,000 miles of shoreline. End
your perfect day with a sunset over Long Lake. Check it out from Long Lake
Park or from the parking overlook off US-23.
New Presque Isle Lighthouse; Courtesy Kyle Taylor Glass Bottom Boat & Second Ave. Bridge; Courtesy Bryan Dort