5 Incredible Upper Peninsula Trails For Every Hiker


The best hikes in the region call Michigan’s Upper Peninsula home, with impressive trails, breathtaking views — and sometimes challenging terrain. So how you do you experience these stunning trips if you’re not the most skilled hiker? Or how do you turn an average trail into a challenge if you’re already a pro? We’ve collected […]

3 Scenic Winter Drives For The Michigan Adventurer

This post was originally published on November 21st, 2017.    Michigan is a state lucky enough to experience all four seasons. Our numerous lakes make for fantastic summer destinations, and spring and fall have enough good weather to stretch camping and road trips through most of the year. However, Michigan is notorious for its brutal winters, especially […]

How To Make the Most Of A Michigan Winter

Michigan Winter Activities - The Awesome Mitten

This post was originally published on December 27th. 2016. When the snow begins falling and the temperatures drop, it’s easy to find ourselves spending most of the short winter days indoors with a pair of fuzzy socks. However, instead of giving up, packing it in, and silently binge-watching online TV until the first flowers bloom in […]

13 Michigan Events And Festivals In August

13 Michigan Events And Festivals In August - The Awesome Mitten

Are you looking for some activities to keep you busy in August? Check out this list of events! Lunch in Lavendar – Every Wednesday – Boyne City Every Wednesday throughout the month of August Lavender Hill Farm is giving you the opportunity to enjoy all they have to offer. For just $20 you are provided […]

5 Reasons Why Lake Superior Is The Best Great Lake

Satellite image of Lake Superior. Photo courtesy of NASA

My great grandma used to say there are many good lakes, but only one great lake–and it’s no surprise which one she thought was superior. Lakes Ontario and Erie are nice but not really part of our Michigan culture. Meanwhile, Huron is admirable but doesn’t offer as much in size and water quality. Lake Michigan […]

The Ultimate Upper Peninsula Road Trip Guide

Ultimate Guide to Roadtripping the UP

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is like no other place on earth. Sandwiched between three of the greatest lakes in the world, it’s filled with peaceful forests, magnificent waterfalls, ancient rock formations, quiet and cozy towns, and miles and miles of shoreline — making it the perfect setting for a one-of-a-kind road trip. Before you get started […]

4 Reasons To Go Kayak Fishing This Summer

Kayak Fishing at Sunset. Photo courtesy of Kayak Fish the Great Lakes

Living in a state that is surrounded by and covered with fresh water lakes, it’s no surprise that kayaking and fishing are two of the more popular pastimes around here. But have you tried combining them? Kayak fishing combines the best of both worlds, and here are four reasons why you should give it a […]

June Michigan Events To Start The Summer Out Right

June Michigan Events To Start The Summer Out Right - The Awesome Mitten

Summer’s in the air as June starts. The kids are out of school, the weather is improving. No matter where you live there’s something for you to do. Take a day trip, plan a staycation, or spend the whole weekend somewhere else. While checking out these events, make sure you’re also checking things off your […]

5 Spectacular Places To Watch A Michigan Sunset

  I’ve watched sunsets from the shores of Greece, tundra of Norway, and beaches of Australia. Although sunsets in those places are beautiful, they pale in comparison to a Michigan sunset. I’ve sat in awe many times watching the sunset along Lake Michigan. There’s something about watching the clouds light up in shades of pink, […]

10 Little Known Facts About Michigan Agriculture

As you’re enjoying backyard barbecues this summer, do you consider where the cherries in your cherry pie were grown? Or perhaps where the beef in your burger came from? It’s likely that a large portion of the food stacked on your plate was grown or raised in the great mitten state. Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse […]

The Only 3 Things A Mitten Angler Needs To Get Started

So you’ve seen the fishing pictures, and you’ve been hearing about how our lakes are full of beautiful bass, walleye and salmon, but you don’t know where to start? Look no further! Even the most unaccustomed angler can get started with just a few basics. Regardless of experience, every angler needs the right equipment. Being surrounded by […]

Celebrating Michigan’s Birthday With 10 Of Our Favorite Facts

180 years ago, on January 26th, 1837, our beautiful mitten became the 26th addition to the United States. Here at The Awesome Mitten we’re celebrating Michigan’s birthday with our annual bake-off and the newly added Michigan Scavenger Hunt. We’re not the only ones celebrating our favorite state! Our friends over at DTE Energy gathered a list of 180 […]

Michigan’s Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Michigan’s birthday is almost here again. Our Annual Michigan Birthday Bake Off is underway and people are voting on our Facebook page for their favorite cake! (psst…. you can too. Click here.) Along with our baking competition, we wanted to create a contest that everyone could be a part of! Introducing the Michigan Birthday Scavenger […]

Dear Michigan: A Letter to Michigan in the Winter

The Awesome Mitten - A Letter to Michigan

Dear Michigan, It feels strange to be writing a letter to a state. You are the state that I call home. The state that when the glaciers clawed their way through, shaping the land in the way that best fit their movements, created the space for the five Great Lakes. You rested right in the […]

25 Strangers: A West Michigan Photo Journal

Inspired by the Humans of New York project, I took the time to walk around my own area — Muskegon, Fruitport, and Grand Haven — to talk to strangers about their favorite parts of Michigan. Here are their photos and stories: What is your favorite place to relax? Nita:  “Heritage Landing, you get a chance to […]

Walking Through Centuries: A Port Huron History Lesson

When I visited Port Huron for a MittenTrip this summer, it was clear that this is a place with a special relationship to its surrounding waterways. Bordered by the beautiful shores of Lake Huron and the St. Clair River, and split down the middle by the Black River, much of life in Port Huron involves […]

The Rich History, Beautiful Presence, and Promising Future of Port Huron #MittenTrip

If there’s one thing everyone knows about Port Huron, it’s the Bluewater Bridge. What they don’t tell you is that it’s actually two bridges, one with traffic heading in each direction, with the original span built in 1938 and another that opened in 1997. During my MittenTrip, I learned that Port Huron itself is divided as well. […]

Bass Thumb – The Painful Sign of a Good Day

We all know Michigan is shaped like a mitten, thanks to glaciers from 10,000 years ago. One of the most noticeable features is the thumb, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that thumb is surrounded by water. If you are used to spending your summers on the lake with a tender thumb, you know […]

15 Ways To Make The Most Of A Michigan Summer

Michigan Summer - The Awesome Mitten

While some would argue a lack of salt water could make for a less stupendous summer, others would heartily disagree that Michigan’s Great Lakes are just that: great. I have a lot of love for Michigan, the Great Lakes, and what they have to offer the summer. To truly celebrate, I’ve compiled a list of […]

12 Facts About The Soo Locks For Trolls And Other Novices

My Dad at the Soo Locks Circa 1982 | Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Calkins

So I have a confession to make… I am a lifelong Michigander, and I’ve never been to the Soo Locks or Upper Peninsula. Whew! That feels good to get off my chest. I’ve done plenty of trolling around the lower peninsula, but for some reason this troll never made it across the bridge as a […]

Travel Back in Time Aboard the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper – #MittenTrip Muskegon

Pilot House

The city of Muskegon is steeped with incredible maritime history, as I discovered on my MittenTrip, featuring vessels such as the USS LST 393 and the USS Silversides Submarine. The National Historic Landmark S.S. Milwaukee Clipper stands out among them, due to its pristine preservation and immense Great Lakes history. Stepping aboard this luxury cruise liner was unlike anything I […]

From SOS to SOL – Why Saving Our Lighthouses Matters

Waugoshance Lighthouse

2015 saw a huge push for the restoration and preservation of Michigan’s lighthouses. Once home to as many as 247 lighthouses, Michigan now hosts roughly 130 of these iconic buildings. Early that year, five of these beacons of Michigan history were given away to “qualifying institutions” that Michigan saw fit to revitalize these sad and neglected structures. In […]

Celebrating World Water Day in the Great Lakes State

March 22 marks the United Nations’ World Water Day celebration, designed as an opportunity to learn more about water related issues from around the world – and why water conservation is so important. Water is always on Michiganders’ minds (we’re the Great Lakes State, after all!) and with the Flint water crisis dominating the headlines, […]

Alpena’s Underwater Museum: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

In my exploration of Alpena for our #MittenTrip project, I found that this lake town on the “sunrise coast” has a unique relationship with its history and geography. Natural sinkholes disappear into the earth and gleaming lighthouses rise and stand guard above it. A limestone quarry overflows with 400-million-year-old fossils, while a dense, kayak-friendly wildlife sanctuary sits just inside […]