Aronson Island

Spending time by the water is one of our family’s favorite activities. If you haven’t been to Aronson Island in Escanaba, I recommend checking it out. This man made island is right inside Ludington Park on Lake Michigan. On any given warm day in the summer, you’ll see kids with their families on the beach, people headed out on their boats, fisherman, dogs being walked, runners and bikers alike. Our summers in the U.P. may be short in comparison to other areas of the country but they really are special and Aronson Island has some true beauty to offer the next time you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy an Escanaba summer day.

Van Riper State Park

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

Are you looking for somewhere to take your family camping this summer? There are numerous options in the UP. If your looking for a campground a little bit outside of Marquette with fun for the whole family, I would recommend checking out Van Riper. This campground has rustic and modern sites, hiking trails, playgrounds for kids and a beautiful beach along Lake Michigamme equipped with the adventure Warrior Warrior Island, a ninja-warrior like obstacle course on the water.

Check out this link to learn more about Van Riper State Park .

McLain State Park

McLain State Park is located in Hancock along highway M-203. The park is frequented by locals and tourists alike. With breathtaking shoreline along Lake Superior, camp sites, hiking trails and picnic areas, there is always something to do. In each season this park has something to offer, from the perfect family gathering for a sunny summer afternoon or a winter day spent exploring ice formations along the shoreline.

Check out this link for more information about the park and add this to state park to your activity list when visiting the Keweenaw Peninsula this summer.

Days River Trail

The Days River Trail is a great way to get your fix of nature, not too far from town. Near the river and lined with trees, you can have a relaxing walk or a fun bike ride in the summer. During fall you can take a stroll while checking out the leaves changing. In the winter you can cross country ski. Access the trail just northwest of Gladstone. Check out the Visit Escanaba link for more information.

Besse Park

This park is one of my absolute favorites to bring the kids. It is family friendly for kids of all ages. One great feature is the rubber underneath all the equipment making falls less harsh. It is located at the intersection of 8th Avenue and 30th Street in a quiet part of town. There are baby swings, a tire swing, slides, climbing and more! We choose this park often and especially on the brisk days it is too cold to be right next to the lake. See this link for the informational handout from the City of Escanaba about this park.

Fishing dock in Escanaba

Do you you love to fish? If so, the Escanaba area is the perfect place to buy a house. The fishing on the Bays De Noc is so good, several professional fishing tournaments have been hosted here. The Bays are known for the awesome walleye fishing. Other types of fishing include salmon, bass and whitefish. During the winter, you will see countless ice shanties on the bay as people additionally enjoy ice fishing. Click on the linked words above for more local information about fishing. Also, check out this guide from the DNR.

Reasons I choose to live in the UP

My family has lived in different areas throughout the years. Soon after my wife and I had our first son we moved home to the UP. We decided to pack up and drive north to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. There are many reasons we were called home to build our life.

1.) The people- Yoopers are a very special type of people. The people who live here have your back. I once broke down in Crystal Falls on my way home to Hancock. A local repair garage owner, who I did not know, offered to drive me the hour and a half home. This is one example of many.

2.) Pace of life- this is huge for me, personally. Living in the U.P. offers a significantly slower pace of life I have come to appreciate. In the city, my wife and I both had long commutes in heavy traffic. Now we are both minutes from work and love the extra time we have with our boys.

3.) Nature- the vast amount of wildlife and landscapes are truly breathtaking. There is continually more to explore and appreciate. Locally around town we are always heading out on an adventure to a trail, park or beach to enjoy as a family.

4.) The “big lakes”- there is always something to do at the lake and this is where my wife says her “soul feels free”. Something about water as far as the eyes can see make me reflect on life.

Wells State Park

Are you looking for an adventure that is not too far away from town? About 30 miles south of Escanaba you will find a beautiful Michigan State Park, Wells State Park. This park has a lot to offer. The park has a scenic campground with campsites so close to the lake, waves will lull you to sleep at night. There is an updated playground, rustic cabins and a sandy beach for your enjoyment. Take a walk down the beach or a nature trail to get your daily dose of the outdoors. After you close on your new home, pack up your gear and head out to play.

Happy Tails Story Time

Are you settled in your new home but it feels a bit empty? Head down to the Delta Animal Shelter and adopt your newest family member. One fun activity the the shelter puts on is Happy Tails Story Time. It is a monthly event for children ages 3-5 and a caregiver to come listen to a story, engage in an activity and meet some of the animals. This event is enjoyable for the adults, children and animals.

Struggling to find a cold weather activity?

McLain State Park, Hancock, MI

It may be cold in the U.P. during winter, but there are a number of outdoor adventures to take advantage of, like snowmobiling, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing,snowboarding, ice fishing hiking, hockey, ice skating, skijoring, sledding, build a snowman, walking your dog, etc. What type of outdoor adventures do you enjoy in the winter?