The name Shrine of the Pines may conjure up images of a cathedral nestled in the woods, but this attraction is actually a museum filled with furniture that was hand-crafted by one man who had a serious love of the Michigan white pine tree. Shrine of the Pines is situated in the Manistee National Forest, and can easily be found off M-37 just a few miles south of Baldwin in Lake County.
Exploring Shrine of the Pines Museum
When you step up to the hunting lodge that houses the Shrine of the Pines, you may not be expecting to walk into a bona fide art gallery. However, the furniture pieces that are on display in this museum are nothing short of masterpieces. Throughout the museum, you will see chandeliers that were crafted out of white pine, as well as beds, chairs, and other pieces of furniture. Perhaps the most remarkable piece that is on display is the dining room table, which was handcrafted out of a 700-pound white pine stump and created without any metal fasteners.
All of the furniture that you can view at the Shrine of the Pines was crafted by Raymond W. Overholzer throughout his lifetime. He began working on the furniture in the 1920s after relocating with his wife to the Manistee National Forest in order to pursue his trade as a hunter and taxidermist. He continued to work on the collection until he died in the early 1950s. Overholzer was inspired to create the furniture after he started to notice that the white pine was being over-logged and was at risk of becoming extinct. A lot of the pieces in the collection were carved and crafted out of roots, sticks, and stumps, as that was all that was left of the white pine trees that had been so abundant in the region.
The Shrine of the Pines is typically open for tours during the summer tourist season from early May until early November. It’s one of the most unique roadside attractions in the state, and should certainly be included on any MI bucket list. While you are in the area, you also may want to consider spending some more time exploring the natural beauty of the west side of the state.
More to Explore Nearby
In nearby Baldwin, you will find Baldwin Canoe Rental. This local business has been renting canoes and other watercraft to local residents and visitors in the area for more than 50 years. As the only watercraft rental company with access to the Pere Marquette National Scenic River, it’s one of the best places to go if you want to glide along this idyllic and peaceful river. You have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to renting equipment, as this company rents out canoes, kayaks, inflatable rafts, and tubes. It is a fun activity for groups of all sizes and can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Where to Eat in Baldwin
No day in Baldwin would be complete without a meal at one of the local restaurants. The Northern Exposure Cafe is a quaint restaurant located right in town that is favored by locals and beloved by travelers. This restaurant is known for its welcoming and friendly staff, its comfortable atmosphere, and its filling meals. You may find that it’s the perfect place to stop for breakfast before you head off to the Shrine of the Pines and a day in the Manistee National Forest.
Another delicious restaurant to consider is Pompeii’s. This pizza parlor has been operating out of Baldwin for nearly 40 years, and it has earned a reputation for having some of the best pies in northern and western Michigan. This is a place where you can grab an easy meal after hours of adventure in the area.
Even if you aren’t ready to sit down for a full meal, you simply can’t pass up the opportunity to grab an ice cream while you are in the Baldwin area. Jones Homemade Ice Cream is a seasonal ice cream parlor serving up fresh ice cream daily. This is yet another business that has been operating in the community for decades, proving that Baldwin is the kind of place where people like to settle down and take root.
Lodging Near Baldwin
Want to extend your Michigan summer bucket list fun in Lake County? Here are a few nearby places to stay:
- Red Moose Lodge
- 72nd Street House Located Near the Pere Marquette River Fly Only Section
- New! Rustic Riverside Retreat w/ Wraparound Deck
- Cozy Cabin W/boats, Fire Pit & Deck On Little Lake
- Walkup Lake Campground
We've included local campgrounds in most of the #MIAwesomeList posts to help you get the most out of your Michigan summer bucket list adventures!
No RV? No worries. You can save up to 25% on your travel costs this summer by renting an RV through RVshare!
Whether you want to pull it behind you or have it all set up at your destination, renting an RV is the best way to enjoy all your summer adventures in Michigan!