There are times when you want to spend your vacation in man-made resorts elbow-to-elbow with people. And then there are other times when you want to go to the places that inspired those human-architected amusement and water parks. When you long for the real thing, pack your backpack or suitcase and come to Baraga County.
Located southeast of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Baraga County stretches along the shores of everchanging Lake Superior and reaches down into the Ottawa National Forest. You can gather up pretty stones and occasional beach glass on Second Sand Beach or the waterfront in L’Anse. Drive the twisty dirt road up Abbaye Peninsula to see the soul-stirring vistas of Point Abbaye’s sandstone shelf, Keweenaw Bay and the distant Huron Islands. If you treasure fall color, Point Abbaye and the Skanee area will rival any “leaf peeping” place in the nation.
All are welcome at the Shrine of Bishop Baraga which begat Baraga County its name. Affectionately known as the Snowshoe Priest, Frederic Baraga would travel up to 700 miles to serve his churches. Depicted in copper, the likeness of Bishop Baraga stands watch sixty feet above the Keweenaw Bay. Watch shorebirds soar while contemplating which path to choose through the Bishop’s namesake Baraga County. Whether that’s a place of solitude, gathering up pretty stones and occasional beach glass on Second Sand Beach in L’Anse. Or whether that means traveling to the “Grand Canyon of Michigan” without leaving the state.
As captivating as Lake Superior’s coastline is, you will also enjoy boating, fishing (ice fishing in winter) and swimming in the county’s smaller lakes. The Huron River offers some of the best steelhead fishing in the U.P. Craig Lake State Park, Michigan’s most remote state park, offers you a place to see moose, wolves, black bear and other wildlife. Hikers are never disappointed when they reach the Sturgeon River Gorge, climb to the top of Silver Mountain or Little Mountain, and make it to Mount Arvon, Michigan’s highest point. A 7.5-mile portion of the 4,200 milelong North Country National Scenic Trail cuts through Baraga County.
Winter is a lovely season in Baraga County, best enjoyed on its 150 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Or you can renew your spirit along the peaceful Pinery Lakes Cross-Country Ski Trail east of L’Anse or snowshoe in the L’Anse Township Park and Campground.
When you want the company of others, on summer evenings you’ll find folks enjoying open air concerts in Covington on Tuesdays and along L’Anse’s picturesque waterfront on Thursdays. Or visit area historic sites that pay tribute to Bishop Baraga and Henry Ford and his workers.