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Old 04-27-2018, 12:10 AM   #1
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Default Michigan or Pennsylvania

Anyone have any ideas on what to see in either state. Also any boondocking locations. Prefer to stay out of the big cities.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:44 AM   #2
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Well, I've never been to Pennsylvania, but I grew up in Michigan and still get back there a few times a year, so I can recommend lots of things there:

Mackinaw Island - you can't take your RV there, as there are no motor vehicles on the island, but you can take your bicycle. There are campgrounds nearby on both the lower & upper peninsulas - I particularly like Straits State Park. The buffet lunch at the Grand Hotel is wonderful (and the ticket also allows you access to the hotel's front porch which runs the full length of the hotel). The horse-drawn carriage tours of the island are great - the drivers are island residents.

Traverse City area - Traverse City isn't a large town, and you can use it as a base to explore the surrounding area - Sleeping Bear Dunes to the west, Mission Point to the north, or follow the lakeshore up to Petosky where there's a nice state park.

Hoeft State Park - This state park is on Lake Huron and has a nice campground - I've been several times. Drive into Rogers City for ice cream next to the theater, or ride your bike - there's a paved path into town.

Ausable River - if you feel like a bit of canoeing, you can do day trips on several rivers in the northern lower peninsula. I like the Ausable River, but the Rifle river is also nice. I recall canoeing on a river north of Grand Rapids as well, but don't recall which one.

Hartwick Pines State Park - this has the last bit of original forest from before Michigan was completely logged back in the 1800's.

Sault Ste Marie - you can visit the Soo Locks & watch the big boats go through. Even better, there's a campground right on the water a couple miles away (Aune-Osborne Campground) where you can watch the boats go by right from your campsite. On the other hand, if you're a light sleeper, they might keep you up at night - you can definitely hear the engines as they go by and the locks run 24 hours a day. You can call the locks visitor center to find out when boats are scheduled to go through (and which ones), after hours they have a recording set up to provide that info.

Pictured Rocks - take a boat tour out of Munising to see these.

Keewenaw Peninsula - there's a lot to see in this area - back in the mid to late 1800's this area produced the majority of the nations copper, and there are a lot of remnants of that mining activity in the area. The Quincy Mine in Hancock has some nice exhibits and includes an underground tour. Calumet is the center of the Keewenaw National Historic Park and has a great museum, plus the historic Calumet Theater. If you're more of a rock hound, there's a mineralogical museum on the Michigan Tech campus in Houghton that's worth a visit. It's also worth driving up to Copper Harbor to see the view from Brockway Mountain Drive, and there's Fort Wilkins State Park nearby that includes the old army fort from the 1800s.

Porcupine Mountains State Park is scenic and you can do a lot of hiking up there. Nearby is the Black River which has trails on both sides of the river from which you can see several waterfalls. There's a National Forest campground there.

And if you're that far west in the UP, you might as well cross over into Wisconsin and go visit the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. I took my RV over to Madeline Island last fall and stayed for a couple days. The boat tours out of Bayfield are worth it.

If you're going to be visiting state parks in Michigan, you ought to get the annual pass - it's $32, but since day passes run $9 for non-residents, after 3 days you're better off with the annual pass.

That's all for now. I may come back tomorrow and post some more.
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Old 04-27-2018, 11:28 AM   #3
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Great list, I heard of the Grand Hotel's lunch but I thought it was on the mainland not the island. The same goes for the horse drawn carriage I thought was St Ignace. I really didn't think the island had anything.
If you come up with any more that would be great.
Also I must mention although I love to take a nice long walk my wife has trouble so that limits her and she particularly has trouble on hills and rough terrain. So due to this we try to stick to less walking or have a place where she may be doing something while I take a little longer hike to take photos.
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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Fort Wilkins State Park has one of my very favorite campgrounds. Beautiful up there. If you go, be sure to have dinner at the Harbor Haus Restaurant in nearby Copper Harbor. It is a genuine hidden gem (and I don't recommend restaurants often).

Speaking of hidden gems: If you end up going that far, consider spending a couple of days at Isle Royale National Park. The ferry leaves from Copper Harbor, and you can safely park your rig in their large lot for free. On the way back, be sure to watch for the staff of Harbor Haus, who do a German dance on their terrace to greet every incoming ferry. It is a whole different world in the UP.
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Old 04-27-2018, 04:12 PM   #5
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Mackinaw City also has a dark skies park west of town along with a large wooden fort recreation that is pretty amazing.

In Sault Ste. Marie there is also the Valley Camp ore boat set up as a museum. Just south of downtown is a county owned campground right on the river close to the ships passing. On the Canadian side there is an aviation museum.

Around the town of Wolverine is an elk herd.

If you like steam trains, there is one in Detroit's Greenfield Village and in Owosso at the Michigan Steam Railroad Institute. At the latter, depending on the timing of your trip, you can drive their massive locomotive - one of the coolest things I've done.

Michigan, like PA, has much to see. What you choose depends on you specific interests; history, nature, beaches, hiking, biking, or ethnic food.
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:11 PM   #6
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In Northeast PA, go to Ricketts Glen State Park and do the Falls Hike Loop. It was approved as a National Park in 1935 but did not become one due to lack of funding as a result of Great Depression and WW2. You won't be disappointed.
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