In part eight of our summer roadtrip the adventure continues from the Porcupine Mountains in western Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan as we travel east to the city of Marquette. We camped for three nights at Tourist Park, a campground owned and operated by the city of Marquette. The campground was roomy with full services and is very well maintained. The staff are friendly and professional, I would give Marquette Tourist Park a 5 out of 5 star rating, we would definitely come back.
Marquette is a great place to ride bikes which we did a lot there. We rode our bikes downtown and found a great pizza restaurant called “Third Coast Pizza” and for desert we went about a half block up to an awesome bakery called “Baby Cakes”. The bakery has amazing pastries (including gluten free and sugar free). Come along as we explore Marquette and then travel deep into the Hiawatha National Forest and beyond…
Pics from the Road in the UP
Tourist Park is convienently located near downtown, but isolated enough to give that camping vibe. Paved bike trails lead directly into town and beyond.
Pasties have a cultural history of the UP dating back to the copper mining days. The wives would make these pasties with meat and potatoes and send them with their husbands into the mines to eat for lunch and dinner. Since then these pasties as they were affectionately called, have become a delicacy here in the UP. You haven’t been to the UP unless you have eaten a Pasty.
From Marquette we drove deep into the Hiawatha National Forest. MaryAnn and I prefer to be unplugged from electric and water hookups and camped in the wilderness far from the crowds. The fourth of July was approaching and we were hoping to avoid the noise of fireworks as well.
Since our Leisure Travel Van is completely self sufficient with solar, a diesel generator and lithium batteries and a full size bathroom (a “dry bath” for you RVers out there) we have no problem camping in the national forests, we make a point to be unplugged and in the national forests around the country whenever possible.
There a literally thousnds of campgrounds in the national forests around the country to chose from, we use a phone app called, “Campendium” to find the ones near us. In the UP there are so many campgrounds to chose from in the two national forests, the Ottawa in the west and the Hiawatha in the east, making it a little overwhelming trying to decide which campground to camp in, we look for campgrounds that don’t require reservations (first come – first serve).
By the way, we didn’t get a nice quite Fourth of July. Some locals came by the campground and treated us to some fireworks, there was even a parade with candy being thrown out to each campsite and people dressed up like farm animals singing the song, “Farmer in the Dale”! Don’t ask me, I haven’t a clue what “Farmer in the Dale” has to do with the 4th of July.
After Camp 7 Lake, we drove about 20 minutes to Kitch-Iti-Kipi – a fresh water spring in the Hiawatha National Forest. The name is Ojibwa, one of the native tribes in this region when the Europeans arrived and it means, “The Great Water, or “The Blue Sky I See, or “The Roaring Bubbling Spring”. Your guess is as good as mine.
After Leaving Kitch-Iti-Kipi, we drove back into civilization to the town of Munising, UP on the shores of Lake Superior. Without reservations, we camped in the overflow area, but still had electric and water hookups. We arrived on the Fourth of July and were treated to a parade and July 4th celebrations down at the harbor.
After our visit in Munising, we continued east through the UP stopping at the Munising Falls for a photo shoot. Our next stop will be in the Picture Rocks National Lakeshore.
Marquette, Hiawatha National Forest and Munising are definitely highlights on our summer roadtrip 2022. Next time we will explore some of Picture Rocks National Lakeshore. Be sure to tune in as our epic adventure in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula continues…