4 Michigan Drives To Make The Most Of Fall

4 Michigan Drives to Make the Most of Fall - Awesome Mitten

We may hate to admit it, but summer is winding down. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back in season, my mother is already talking about Halloween, and I just pulled out my first flannel shirt. The realities are settling in that fall is here. Although summer is when we usually spend the most time on the […]

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 […]

Fort Mackinac: Michigan’s Former Gateway

I have lived all of my life in Michigan but never made it to Mackinac Island until my twenties. As a kid, we spent every summer camping in Northern Michigan. However, paying to take the ferry with six kids was never quite in my parent’s budget. It might have also been the constant energy my […]

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, […]

A Day at Lake St. Clair – On the Water and on the Shore

Lake St. Clair is a freshwater lake that lies between Michigan and Ontario, Canada. As part of the waterway between Lake Erie and Lake Huron, this water system is roughly 430 square miles. Despite recent concerns, the water quality has been consistently improving in Lake St. Clair. The proof? Muskellunge (musky), walleye, bass, trout, blue gill, and […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

On Top of the World on Middle Island – Alpena #MittenTrip

Sunrise over Lake Huron from Middle Island Lighthouse. Photo by Joel Heckaman - Awesome Mitten #MittenTrip

As you will find in my Mitten Trip guide to Alpena, the northeast corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula hosts an abundance of incredible experiences. In lieu of a hotel for such a vacation, I recommend something more unique and memorable: uninhabited (by humans, at least) Middle Island and the Keepers’ Lodge bed and breakfast at the Middle Island […]

Road Tripping Just Across The Mackinac Bridge In St. Ignace

Roadtripping Just Across the Mackinac in St. Ignace - The Awesome Mitten

In the summer months, a lot of people make the trek to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island and/or cross the Mackinac Bridge to enjoy some outdoor adventures in the Upper Peninsula. In between those frequented routes sits the quaint town of St. Ignace. The small-town serves as the gateway between Michigan’s two peninsulas positioned just across […]

#MittenTrip: A Guide to Port Austin, Another Kind of “Up North”

Port Austin #MittenTrip - The Awesome Mitten

When I was in college at Michigan State University, I would always laugh when my friends told me about their “up north” adventures in “The Thumb.” Since I’m from Traverse City, I had very specific views about what those kinds of adventures should entail. As with most things, I got older and learned that I […]

Choose Your Own Adventure: A Biking Guide to Mackinac Island

Biking on Mackinac Island - #MittenTrip - The Awesome Mitten

Thoughts of fudge, horses, and history are usually top of mind when thinking about Mackinac Island, but the bike trail around the island is one of its most unique features. The relatively flat path, which makes it accessible for most riders, encircles the entire island for 8.2 miles and offers stunning views of Lake Huron, the Mighty Mac, […]

A Michigan Road Trip Around the Thumb

The Awesome Mitten - A Michigan Road Trip Around The Thumb

Are you in the market for an off the beaten path Michigan road trip option? Take a look at M-25 and the drive around “The Thumb.” From Bay City to Port Huron, along Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, you’ll find an abundance of parks, hiking and adventure opportunities, beaches, scenic overlooks, resort towns, and more. Bay […]

Continuing a Road Trip Up Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

The Awesome Mitten - Continuing a Road Trip Up Michigan’s Sunrise Coast

When thinking about Michigan road trip options, the Lake Huron coastline does not always get the love it deserves. But with remote beaches, historic lighthouses, state parks, quaint small towns and more, Michigan’s Sunrise Coast is a summer path worth exploring. Last month the road trip between Standish and Harrisville along the U.S. 23 Heritage […]

Starting a Michigan Road Trip Up the Sunrise Coast

The Awesome Mitten - Starting a Michigan Road Trip Up the Sunrise Coast

Looking for a scenic drive along one of the biggest lakes in the world? When going on adventures in Michigan, a road trip along Lake Huron and the Sunrise Coast offers one charming small town and beautiful mile after another. Coming from Flint, Ann Arbor, Detroit and points south, you’ll get onto the U.S. 23 […]

History Of The Formation Of The Great Lakes


The Great Lakes are an iconic freshwater system that makes up more than 20 percent of the world’s available surface freshwater. In Michigan, standing anywhere in the state, you are within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. We also have 3,288 miles of Great Lakes coastline, the most freshwater shoreline in the world. […]

Castle Rock

We have all heard of the legendary giant American logger, Paul Bunyan. If you haven’t, you should have someone fill you in, since Paul is the one who dug Lake Michigan as a drinking hole for his giant ox, Babe. If you feel particularly inclined to pay Paul and Babe homage, as gratitude for such […]

Favorite Outdoor Places In Michigan – Moosejaw

Last week we did a fun little contest with Moosejaw where we asked you to tell us your favorite outdoor spot in Michigan. Below are some of your entries! “My favorite spot is sitting at the top of the log slide in Grand Marias looking right toward the pictured rocks lake shore, left toward the […]