Day #1: Crossing the mackinac Bridge

Morning of 8/3 – Evening of 8/3 2021

We left Grand Rapids around 9am and made our way north towards the Mackinac Bridge. Our adventure started when we crossed into the UP and took Route 2, making our way northwest into Wisconsin.

The day was clear and traffic was light. As soon as you cross the bridge you’re met with old, deep woods and signs for St. Ignance.

Route 2 is scenic, with plenty of pull offs on the left where you can jump out and enjoy the beach. We saw many people taking the opportunity. In true Michigan form, most were only up to their waist in the light blue, chilly water.

After route 2 the ride was a bit less splendid, mostly driving througfh small towns and wooded areas. As we got closer to Three Lakes the road twisted and turned past many bodies of water. Despite the name Three Lakes, it seemed like there was hundereds of lakes surrounding us. Supposedly the town got its named from a railrod project that had to re-route around three of the lakes, and the name stuck. We found ourselves on a tiny peninsula called The Isle O’ Dreams on a property passed down to our host through generations.

Day #2-4: Three Lakes & the Isle O’ Dreams

evening of 8/3 – morning of 8/6

We stayed in a small cabin on the “Island” for three nights. There were so many new smells, Moose could hardly keep his nose off the ground. We saw deer with fuzzy antlers and heard loons calling out on the lake. It remains one of my favorite sounds.

Our amazing host, Doug, made homemade ice-cream, moonshine mix drinks and patsies for us throughout our stay. We spent one afternoon watching the Aqua Devils water show and the last night playing Eucher and Monopoly by the living room fire.

Day #5: H-58 & Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Morning of 8/6 – Evening of 8/6

We drove out of Three Lakes in the morning and headed to Munising to view the Painted Rocks. Miners Castle Rd leads to Miners Castle Point, where you can look out and see the painted rocks. There are trails you can follow here that lead all the way down the Painted Rocks Lakeshore. We turned on Miners Falls Rd before the point and saw our first UP waterfall.  You can also turn on Miners Beach Rd that leads to a beach with Elliott Falls on the east end.

Munising is the start of County Rd H-58. Much of it was paved in 2010 and a small remainder at the eastern end remains unpaved (and very rough). H-58 takes you along all the stops of the Painted Rocks National Lakeshore. Lookouts, falls, campsites and trails dot the map as you drive and the environment is serene.

We took H-58 to 692 and then 695 to Chapel Basin Parking Lot. From here you can hike to Mosquito Beach, Spectacle Falls, Lover’s Leap and Chapel Beach Falls. Unfortunately when we arrived we found that dogs were not allowed, so we turned back and headed to our campsite at Twelvemile Campground.

Twelvemile Campground is my favorite site that I’ve stayed at. Sites 1 – 25 are all on Lake Superior, on top of a dune hill looking out. It’s gorgeous. and reservation only. I’ll definitely be back. 

The Perseid meteor shower runs through early august and that night we saw three bright, long shooting stars. This was the highlight of the trip for me.

Day #6: Tahquamenon Falls & Bertha’s Broken Alternator

 Afternoon of 6/28 – Morning of 6/29 

We drove the rest of H-58 through dense tree canopies and open shorelines. The last few miles were unpaved and incredibly rough! Bertha pulled through but was definitely not happy about it.

We decided to visit the upper and lower Tahquamenon Falls. The upper falls were a cool sight, but the lower falls offer a boardwalk all the way around the outer falls through the woods. You can (and should) rent a boat across to the island in the middle of the falls. After a short walk you can enter the water right near the falls where it’s shallow.

About an hour away from home, Bertha’s alternator gave out. She served us well on the trip and we couldn’t fault her for it. She was towed to Reed City and I’ll pick her up this weekend to prepare for more adventures. I’m sure this will be her first tow of many…

Travel Map


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