Thursday, October 8, 2009
Destination: Wilderness State Park
Fall colors are hitting their peak this weekend in the western Upper Peninsula and the Keweenaw Peninsula, but for many of us in southern Michigan, it’s a long drive to those areas. But the next best thing to being there is a trip to Wilderness State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan just west of Mackinaw City.
There the colors are about 50 percent. The 10,512-acre park stretches along the shoreline for miles and is a good place for kayaking, if the waters aren’t too rough. The park offers 250 modern campsites in tow units, six rustic cabins and three rustic bunkhouses for rent. The cabins and bunkhouses are often rented far in advance, so check with the state before you go. The state park system maintains a good Web site for reservations, www.midnrreservations.com .
Take along your bike. There are 16 miles of mountain biking trails in the park. A good bike trip would be between Mackinaw City and the park. The road carries little traffic.
You can either stay at the park or in Mackinaw City. Check out the Deer Head Inn, 109 Henry St., in the city. It’s a bit hard to find, but worth the look. There are plenty of motels in town, if that’s your choice.
Our top restaurant choice is Audie’s on Nicolet Street. There are actually two restaurants here, a family room, with an upscale menu, and a bar, which offers pub fare. You’ll find meals unusual for the area, including herb-encrusted lamb, duck and stuffed morel mushrooms.