Michigan State Parks

On our way to Chicago, we traveled down the shoreline of western Michigan, wanting to stay at state parks along the way.IMG_6097

Interlochen State Park is a small 187 acre park nestled between Green Lake and Duck Lake.

Next to the park is Interlochen Center for the Arts. A beautiful campus for aspiring artists, this school draws students from all over the world.

We drove to Traverse City for the day and had lunch.

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Mears State Park is smaller than Interlochen. Once owned by lumber baron Charles Mears, this 50 acre park was donated to the state in 1923.IMG_6103

We camped within walking distance to Pentwater, MI.

The gardens along the canal were colorful.

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Holland State Park, at 142 acres, is a popular park that boasts 2 million visitors each year. Ottawa Beach has beautiful summer cottages that date back to the late 1800’s.IMG_6239IMG_3210

We hiked the Mt. Pisgah Dune. Standing at 157 ft. above Lake Michigan, getting to the top of this dune was easy. Just walk up a couple of hundred stairs and follow the boardwalk to awesome views.IMG_6187

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Sunset @ Ottawa Beach, Holland MI.

 

Thank you, Michael and Susan for a wonderful dinner and sunset cruise around your lake.

Wilderness State Park, MI.

IMG_6004This large, 10,500 acre park offers 26 miles of shoreline. IMG_5992We stayed here for 5 days, enjoying the beautiful dunes along the shore.IMG_2971 It has over 16 miles of trails, 250 sites for camping, and is designated a dark sky preserve. IMG_6010

 

We drove to Mackinaw City to check out the Mackinaw Bridge.IMG_3041

With a total length of 5 miles, this bridge is the longest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

 

There’s a little village just outside of town that we came across. The old turn of the century buildings were easy to photograph because of the beautiful weather.

 

The sunsets are very easy to relax to.IMG_3000

 

Wilderness State Park is our favorite Michigan state park!IMG_3120

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2 weddings and Labor Day

Congratulations Christian and Kara. Your wedding at the Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI. was beautiful.IMG_5819

 

Labor Day weekend was spent in Caseville, MI. with family. We got our much needed grandson time!IMG_5769

Boat rides, kayaking, grillin’ out, and just relaxing.

Thanks Ken & Kathy and Jim & Shelly for hosting a great Labor Day weekend.

Congratulations Jon and Marissa. Your wedding at the Jordan Valley Barn in East Jordan, MI. was beautiful.   IMG_5900 (2)

 

While in East Jordan we took some great drives, with friends Mark and Angie, through the beautiful countryside.IMG_2905

 

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Hartwick Pines, Old Growth Forest.

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We camped in Hartwick Pines State Park so we could experience the lush forests here in Michigan. At the Old Growth Forest, we discovered one of the last remnants of Michigan’s virgin white pine forest. IMG_5700

Most of the trees here are between 300-400 years old.IMG_5685

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Walking the old growth trail takes you through some beautiful forests.

 

And we came upon this beautiful chapel in the pines.IMG_5677

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There’s also a logging museum to enjoy.IMG_5699

 

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Michigan’s forests are truly amazing!

We also took a hike on the Bright and Glory Lakes Trail. IMG_5637

 

A little rain that day didn’t stop us from having fun, discovering and learning .IMG_5644 (2)