Saturday, August 3, 2013

Old school resorts in the U.P.

Deer Park General store. 
The eastern Upper Peninsula is home to two older style resorts that bring back memories of childhood vacations from the past. Simple cabins and a beach nearby.  At night there were camp fires and marsh mellow roasts. Those pleasures have been lost in our era of electronic devices and non-stop entertainment.
     To recapture the past, check out Deer Park Lodge (906-658-3341; ), 29209 County Rd. 401, Newberry.  The one and two-bedroom cabins are on Muskallonge Lake and have the use of a shallow, sandy beach. Since it’s an inland lake, the waters are much warmer than those of nearby Lake Superior. The rooms are reminiscent of simple wooden cabins of the 1940s, and they’re furnished with basic cooking utensils. There are no television sets, and cell phone service can be sketchy, so a traveler can really get away.
     The lake is dominated by the Muskallonge State Park, and doesn’t get much traffic, apart from fishing boats. There are small motorboats available. Bringing a canoe or kayak would be a good idea, as the water is shallow, and day trips on the water would give the kids something extra to do.
     The owners, Mick and Monica Brown, are friendly and like to share local history with visitors. They have an anchor from the 1880s that was recovered from the lake and thought to come from a fishing boat. The couple also runs the Deer Park General Store near the cabins, which can pretty much fill the needs of guests. The nearest other stores are about 20 miles away in Newberry.
Cabins at Deer Park.
     There is plenty to see and do nearby. The agate beaches of Lake Superior are just north of the cabins along H 58. Agate hunting on U.P. beaches is a regular activity for Michigan residents. The rocks are hard and colorful. Many people polish them. Tahquamenon Falls State Park is about 43 miles away, making it a day trip. The falls are a top U.P. travel destination. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, another top attraction, is 54 miles via H 58, which runs along Lake Superior.
     Just about due south on Lake Michigan are the Hog Island Country Store & Cottages (906-477-9995;, W8294 US 2, Naubinway. The focus is on the Lake Michigan shoreline, which is just a short walk. The one – three bedroom cabins date to the 1940s and are simple and clean. The kitchens are furnished with basic utensils and each has a fire pit. There are television sets, but who needs them. The beach is sandy and the water warm. By
Hog Island Country Store. 
standards, the rooms are a bit cramped, but travelers are here to get outside.
     The hosts here are Tom and Sandy Jacobs and can be found on most days manning the Hog Island Country Store, where they sell homemade jams and jellies, smoked fish and pasties. There’s also coffee for those on the road.

     The town of Naubinway is about nine miles east of Hog Island. The town is home to an active fishing fleet, and there are several markets selling fresh fish. 

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