Exploring Manistique, Michigan
A beautiful harbor town on Lake Michigan just 88 miles from the Mackinac Bridge.
Manistique was originally a lumber transfer town, the timber was cut further north and sent down the Manistique River to Lake Michigan. The timber was sorted at Manistique and sent by boat to different towns for processing and use. Manistique was also an important commercial fishing port.
Manistique is now a tourism center with many nearby attractions and plenty of outdoor recreation. Located at the edge of the Hiawatha National Forest, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, swimming, boating and camping are major sports in the area. Fayette, Big Springs, Indian Lake and several lighthouses are major attractions. This area enjoys warmer temperatures than much of the Upper Peninsula, thanks to Lake Michigan. Manistique is just 45 miles south of Munising, driving through the Hiawatha National Forest.
If you are interested in lighthouses, Manistique is the hub for viewing many lighthouses and museums in the Lake Michigan - Lake Superior area. Here, the distance between the two Great Lakes is shortest and a trail near Manistique was used by lifestation keepers to drag their lifeboats from one lake to another in times of emergency.
The East Breakwater Light was first lit in 1917 and automated in 1969. The 35' red light tower is shaped like a square pyramid and may be seen from almost everywhere along the beach. The original light was a Fourth Order Fresnel Lens, now replaced with a 300 MM automatic beam.
A Boardwalk goes for almost two miles along the shoreline and lets you walk along the beach from many of the motels into town or to the marina and the breakwater light. The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible. The boardwalk offers interpretive signs, a fishing pier, picnic areas and access to the the East Breakwater Light. There is an abundant supply of birds and other wildlife for you to enjoy.
The boardwalk comes up to the edge of the breakwater for the East Breakwater Light. The light is at the east end of the harbor where the Manistique River flows into Lake Michigan. On a day when Lake Michigan is calm, it is possible to walk out on the breakwater all the way to the light. When Lake Michigan is rough, the seas smash over the breakwater, sweeping everything off into the harbor.
Manistique is a very friendly town, just waiting for the arrival of tourists. There are many quaint shops and stores for you to visit. Excellent antique shops in town. Sandy beaches nearby are great for swimming, sunbathing and fishing. There is a casino in town.
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