As most Michigan #MittenTrip enthusiasts know, the way to travel is usually by highway. The standard drive from Sault Ste Marie to the base of Whitefish Point is by M-28. My agenda for exploring had this highway down as the one to take us all the adventurous places we wanted to go. However, following a “pro tip” from a local about a small, winding road called “6 Mile” the plans had changed for the better.
M-28 is the most direct route, and the way recommended by every GPS. As I know most travelers can relate, though, the GPS way in not always the best way. It was explained that this drive is pretty all year around with the fall being the overwhelming crowd favorite time of year. The local who described the drive said she often grabs a coffee after a long day of work and hits the road simply to enjoy the beauty of the Upper Peninsula.
We split the drive into two days. The first section was done on Saturday to catch the sunset at the Point Iroquois Lighthouse, and the second was to finish the road on the way to Tahquamenon Falls. It turns, curves and rides the Lake Superior shoreline along Whitefish Bay. We passed by small villages that were gone in a blink of an eye, but it’s one of those drives that slows down time.
The road is accessed just south of Sault Ste Marie, and I recommend it as an early through late afternoon drive. Throughout the journey, it often changes names. At one spot it reads “Lakeshore Drive” and at another it is deemed “Lake Superior Shoreline Road.”
It bends near Brimley State Park, which is located on the shores of Lake Superior and offers camping with beautiful sandy beaches. Shortly after, it curves and runs through the towns of Brimley and Bay Mills, which are famous small towns known for their casinos and quaint, serene villages.
I was surprised at the shoreline and its constant landscape changes. Rocks appear and disappear while sand fades in and away. However, one thing is a constant: the clarity and pureness of the Lake Superior waters.
Point Iroquois Lighthouse is located along the drive and sits only a half-mile off the main road. Parking is located right next to the lighthouse and wooden boardwalks run along the beach. The area is a hot-spot for senior pictures and proposals. There is even a wooden bench that the lighthouse keeper has named “the proposal bench.” We didn’t take advantage of the bench this time. From the road, Canada’s shoreline can be seen in the distance with high rocky cliffs that dive into the water. Rocky islands dot the horizon while loons and ducks are frequent visitors along the bay.
As we continued down the road, our surroundings deepened into thick woods. I remember having a conversation about how difficult it would be to trek the forest if the road did not exist. I also thought about how many bears, wolves, bobcats and bigfoots were looming in the brush, and how I would love to witness one (from safe distance, of course!).
The road crosses multiple rivers, and I was slightly surprised by the amount of time it took to finish, which is not a bad thing! I wanted to ride and enjoy it as long as possible. Basically anywhere to pull of the road was a postcard-worthy picture opportunity. I wish we had the entire day to drive through it.
Eventually, the road came to an end at M-28 about an hour and 15 minutes after setting off from The Soo. From this point, the town of Paradise and Tahquamenon Falls State Park is just a small jog north and worth the extra miles. I know that I am already planning a trip back up to this area in the fall, because I am dying to drive that road with nothing but bright orange, yellow and red leaves surrounding me.
Is it October yet?! I never thought you’d hear me say that in August!