|Northern Lower Michigan|
|Lower Peninsula of Michigan|
Northern Michigan, also known as Northern Lower Michigan (known colloquially to residents of more southerly parts of the state and summer residents from cities such as Chicago as "up north"), is a region of the U.S. state of Michigan popular as a tourist destination. It is home to several small- to medium-sized cities, extensive state and national forests, lakes and rivers, and a large portion of Great Lakes shoreline. The region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry. Northern Michigan is distinguished from the more northerly Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
The southern boundary of the region is not precisely defined. Some residents in the southern part of the state consider its southern limit to be just north of Flint and Grand Rapids, but more northern residents restrict it to the area north of Mount Pleasant: the "fingers" of the mitten-like shape of the Lower Peninsula. The 45th parallel runs across Northern Michigan. Signs in the Lower Peninsula that mark that line are at Mission Point Light. (just north of Traverse City), Suttons Bay, Cairn Highway in Elk Lake, Gaylord, and Alpena. These are five of 29 places in the U.S.A. where such signs or monuments are known to exist. One other such sign is in Menominee, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. People from Northern Michigan generally use the term "down south" or (less commonly) "downstate" to refer to people and places south of the region.
The geographical theme of this region is shaped by rolling hills, Great Lakes shorelines including coastal dunes on the west coast, large inland lakes, numerous rivers and large forests. A tension zone is identified running from Muskegon to Saginaw Bay marked by a change in soil type and common tree species. North of the line the historic presettlement forests were beech and sugar maple, mixed with hemlock, white pine, and yellow birch which only grew on moist soils father south. Southern Michigan forests were primarily deciduous with oaks, red maple, shagbark hickory, basswood and cottonwood which are uncommon further north. Northern Michigan soils tend to be coarser, and the growing season is shorter with a cooler climate. Lake effect weather brings significant snowfalls to snow belt areas of Northern Michigan.
Across the Straits of Mackinac, to the north, west and northeast, lies the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the "U.P."). Despite its geographic location as the most northerly part of Michigan, the Upper Peninsula is not usually included in the definition of Northern Michigan (although Northern Michigan University is located in the U.P. city of Marquette), and is instead regarded by Michigan residents as a distinct region of the state. The two regions are connected by the Mackinac Bridge.
All of the northern Lower Peninsula – north of a line from Manistee County on the west to Iosco County on the east (the second orange tier up on the map) – is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.
There were more than 150 past and present lighthouses around Michigan's Great Lakes coasts, including several in Northern Michigan. They serve as functioning warnings to mariners, but are also integral to the region's culture and history. See the list of Michigan lighthouses for more information on individual lighthouses.
- Eight islands off the Lakes Michigan and Huron coasts – Charlevoix and Alpena counties, respectively – are part of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Adjacent to the Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport is a United States Coast Guard air station (CGAS), which is responsible for both maritime and land-based search and rescue operations in the northern Great Lakes region.
The state forests in the U.S. state of Michigan are managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Forest, Mineral and Fire Management unit. It is the largest state forest system in the nation at 3,900,000 acres (15,800 km2). See List of Michigan state forests. The Northern lower peninsula includes three forests:
- Mackinaw State Forest
- Atlanta FMU (Alpena, northeast Cheboygan, most of Montmorency, and most of Presque Isle counties)
- Gaylord FMU (Antrim, Charlevoix, most of Cheboygan, Emmet, and most of Otsego counties)
- Pigeon River Country FMU (southeast Cheboygan, northwest Montmorency, northeast Otsego, and southwest Presque Isle counties)
- Pere Marquette State Forest
- Cadillac FMU (Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Wexford counties)
- Traverse City FMU (Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Kalkaska, Manistee counties)
- Au Sable State Forest
- Gladwin FMU (Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, southern Iosco, Isabella, and Midland counties)
- Grayling FMU (Alcona, Crawford, Oscoda, and northern Iosco counties)
- Roscommon FMU (Ogemaw and Roscommon counties)
In addition, large portions of this area are covered by the Manistee National Forest and the Huron National Forest. In the former, a unique environment is present at the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness. This relatively small area of 3,450 acres (13.96 km2), on Lake Michigan's east shore, is one of few wilderness areas in the U.S. with an extensive lake shore dunes ecosystem. The dunes are 3500 to 4000 years old, and rise to nearly 140 feet (43 m) higher than the lake. The Nordhouse Dunes are interspersed with woody vegetation such as jack pine, juniper and hemlock. Many small water holes and marshes dot the landscape, and dune grass covers some of the dunes. The wide and sandy beach is ideal for walks and sunset viewing.
Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is the so-called Grayling outwash plain, which consists of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forest. Large lakes were created by glacial action.
Michigan is a unique travel environment. Consequently, drivers should be forewarned: travel distances should not be underestimated. Michigan's overall length is only 456 miles (734 km) and width 386 miles (621 km) – but because of the lakes those distances cannot be traveled directly. The distance from northwest to the southeast corner is 456 miles (734 km) 'as the crow flies'. Unlike the crows, travelers must go around the Great Lakes. For example, when traveling to the Upper Peninsula, it is well to realize that it is roughly 300 miles (480 km) from Detroit to the Mackinac Bridge, but it is another 300 miles (480 km) from St. Ignace to Ironwood.
Likewise direct routes are few and far between I-75 and M-115 do angle from the southeast to the northwest), but most roads are oriented either east-west or north-south (oriented with township lines) (See Land Ordinance of 1785). So travel may take longer than newcomers might otherwise think.
Boating, golf, and camping are leading activities. Sailing, kayaking, canoeing, birding, bicycling, horse back riding, motorcycling, and 'off roading' are important avocations. The forest activities are available everywhere. There are a great many Michigan state parks and other protected areas which make these truly a 'pleasant peninsula.' These would include the Huron National Forest and the Manistee National Forest, plus the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (a 35-mile stretch of eastern Lake Michigan dunes) and the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness.
- Many city dwellers from "downstate" and nearby areas (notably Chicago) have summer vacation homes in Northern Michigan. The largest resort cities in Northern Michigan are in the west on Lake Michigan, with its sandy beaches and warm bays. Popular tourist towns in Northern Michigan include Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Charlevoix, Petoskey, Manistee, Ludington, Bear Lake, Empire, Frankfort, Harbor Springs, and Leland. It should also be noted that there is a large wine district in the area along the Lake Michigan Shore.
- At the top of the lower peninsula are Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island (which lies between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas in the Straits of Mackinac).
- Less well known and less developed is the northeastern lower peninsula along the Lake Huron shore. It offers many great vacation spots, particularly along the coast. These are, in order from south-to-north, Standish, Omer, Au Gres, Tawas City, East Tawas, Oscoda, Greenbush, Harrisville, Alpena, Presque Isle, Rogers City, Cheboygan, and points in between. Some consider these to be more 'up north' than the relatively congested west coast. Indeed, the Detroit Free Press noted that the area between Oscoda and Ossineke included beaches that are "overlooked" and among the "top ten in Michigan." This would include the area around Harrisville (and two state parks). It was noted that: "Old-fashioned lake vacations abound on this pretty stretch of Lake Huron."
- In between the two (or three, depending on how you count) coasts, there are a large number of inland cities and lakes (Michigan has 11,037 lakes), and a varied landscape that has many rivers. Such places as Cadillac, Kalkaska, Grayling, West Branch and Gaylord are also prized summer destinations for Michiganders and visitors from other states. Among many others, Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Torch Lake, called Grand Lake (there are at least two in northern Michigan) and Hubbard Lake are massive inland lake resorts that are worth exploring.
- The Michigan Shore to Shore Riding & Hiking Trail runs from Empire to Oscoda, and points north and south. It is a 500-mile (800 km) interconnected system of trails.
- The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a designated scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Some of the downhill and Nordic skiing resorts located on the western side include Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, Otsego Club & Resort (since 1939), Crystal Mountain Resort, Nub's Nob, Caberfae Peaks and Schuss Mountain. Some of these also serve as summer golf resorts. Frederic, Michigan is a particularly noteworthy center for cross country skiing.
Fall activities include harvest festivals, and driving around in the woods to watch the colorful fall leaves. Hunting in Northern Michigan is a popular fall pastime. There are seasons for bow hunting and a muzzle-loader season as well as for using modern rifle season. The opening day of deer season (November 15) is a major day for some residents.
In winter, a variety of sports are enjoyed by the locals which also draw visitors to Northern Michigan. Snowmobiling, also called sledding, is popular, and with hundreds of miles of interconnected groomed trails cross the region. Ice fishing is also popular. Tip-up Town on Houghton Lake is a major ice-fishing, snowmobiling and winter sports festival, and is unique in that it is a village that assembles out on the frozen lake surface. Higgins Lake also offers good ice fishing and has many snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing trails at the North Higgins Lake State Park. Grayling and Gaylord and their environs are recognized for Nordic skiing. Cadillac is reputed to be even more popular during the winter than it is in the summer.
History and local culture
Northern Michigan was inhabited by Native American tribes, most recently Ojibwa and Odawa, well before English settlers founded a fort on Mackinac Island. Later, industry depended on natural resources such as lumber and fur trading which contributed to the rise of Traverse City. When the railroads connected Northern Michigan to the large cities through Kalamazoo, some wealthy urbanites established summer home associations in Charlevoix, Harbor Point,and Bay View. As passenger railroad usage ended in the 1960s because of increased automobile travel, aggressive promotion of Northern Michigan by local chambers of commerce led to many of the festivals and attractions that bring visitors north even today.
The area was populated by many different ethnicities, including groups from New England, Germany, and Poland. The Odawa nation is located in Emmet County.(Little Traverse Band of Odawa Indians)Native American reservations exist at Mount Pleasant and on the Leelanau Peninsula.
The Lumberman's Monument honors lumberjacks that shaped the area, exploiting the natural resource. It is located on River Road, which runs parallel with the beautiful Au Sable River, and is a designated National Scenic Byway for the 23 miles (37 km) that go into Oscoda. The State of Michigan has designated Oscoda as the official home of Paul Bunyan due to the earliest documented publications in the Oscoda Press, August 10, 1906 by James MacGillivray (later revised and published in the Detroit News in 1910).
Hartwick Pines State Park is a 9,672-acre (39.1 km2) State Park and Logging museum located in Crawford County near Grayling and Interstate 75. It is the third largest state park on Michigan's Lower Peninsula and the state's fifth-biggest park overall. The park contains an old growth forest of white pines and red pines that resembles the appearance of all of Northern Michigan prior to the logging era. Also to be noted is Interlochen State Park, which is the oldest state park and the other remaining stand of virgin Eastern White Pine in the Lower Peninsula.
The state has numerous historical markers, which can themselves become the center of a tour; one man's record and photographs of a quest to 'capture' them all is particularly interesting.
Interlochen Center for the Arts is a notable arts center that offers a high-school-level academy and summer camp near Traverse City. There are also several institutions of higher education in Northern Michigan. Community colleges include North Central Michigan College (NCMC, pronounced "nuck-muck" by locals), Alpena Community College, Huron Shores Campus-Alpena Community College, Kirtland Community College, and Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) including the Great Lakes Maritime Academy, the only U.S. maritime academy on freshwater. Northern Michigan has arguably only one four-year university (depending on the definition of the southern boundary of the region), Ferris State University in Big Rapids. Other nearby universities are in the Upper Peninsula (Northern Michigan University and Lake Superior State University), as well as Central Michigan University and Ferris State University in the more southern reaches of the state. The University of Michigan runs the University of Michigan Biological Station out of Pellston, MI. Central Michigan University runs the CMU Biological Station on Beaver Island. Hillsdale College runs the biological station in Lake County.
Many four-year univeristies located downstate offer Bachelor and Master degree programs through Northwestern Michigan College's unique University Center program, located in Traverse City. The University Center, located in Traverse City, is a joint program with Northwestern Michigan College and various universities around the state that allows local students to "attend" univeristies that offer bachelor and master degree programs not available through NMC, a two-year college, locally with out leaving Northern Michigan. NMC supplies the facilities while the senior universities provide the education and endorsement. Universities offering programs here include Michigan State University, Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Spring Arbor University, and others.
The economy of Northern Michigan is limited by its lower population, few industries and reduced agriculture compared to lower Michigan. Seasonal and tourism related employment is significant. Unemployment rates are generally high. (In June 2007, seven of the ten highest unemployment rates occurred in counties in the Northern Michigan area.
The northeast corner has an industrial base. In particular, Alpena is home to the LaFarge Company's holdings in the world's largest cement plant and is home to Besser Block Co. (the inventor of concrete block and maker of concrete block making machine), and has a drywall board manufacturing facility owned by Abitibe; and Rogers City is the locale of the world's largest limestone quarry, which is also used in steel making all along the Great Lakes.
Nearer to the Lake Michigan shore, Cadillac and Manistee have manufacturing and chemical industries, including the world's largest salt plant. Also, the East Jordan Iron Works corporate offices, as well as the original foundry, are located in East Jordan.
Historically, lumbering and commercial fishing were among the most important industries. Logging is still important but at a mere fraction of its heyday output. Commercial fishing is a minor activity.
A major draw to Northern Michigan is tourism. Real Estate, especially condominiums and summer homes, is another significant source of income. Because money spent in the real estate and tourism market in Northern Michigan is dependent upon visitors from southern Michigan and the Chicago area, the Northern Michigan economy is sensitive to downswings in the automobile and other industries. See Also: Economy of Detroit and Economy of Chicago
Agriculture is limited by the climate and soil conditions compared to southern regions of the state. However, there are significant potato and dry bean farms in the east. wine grapes, vegetables and cherries are produced in the west in the protected microclimates around Grand Traverse Bay. The Grand Traverse region has two of Michigan's four federally-recognized wine growing areas. The Grand Traverse Bay area is listed as one of the most endangered agricultural regions in the U.S. as its scenic land is highly sought after for vacation homes.
Large industries are sparse; cement-making and the mining of limestone and gypsum on the Lake Huron shore are the major exports of the area. Much of Michigan's natural gas extraction is from wells in Northern Michigan. A small number of men work on the Great Lakes freighters.
The only military presence in Northern Michigan is in two places:
- Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Michigan is run by the Air National Guard and is co-located with the Alpena County Regional Airport.
- Camp Grayling near Grayling, Michigan. Camp Grayling is the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River, and the nation's largest National Guard training site. It is used by the U.S. National Guard, as well as active and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Year-round training is conducted on its 147,000 acres (595 km2) in Crawford, Kalkaska and Otsego counties. Much of the land (including Lake Margrethe) is accessible to the public for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and other recreational uses (when military training is not happening).
- Wurtsmith Air Force Base near Oscoda closed in 1993.and has been converted to civilian use as Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport
Airports serving Northern Michigan include MBS International Airport near Freeland, Pellston Regional Airport, Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport and Alpena County Regional Airport in the Lower peninsula. Depending on one's destination, Chippewa County International Airport in Sault Ste. Marie, in the eastern Upper peninsula might be a viable alternative. Grand Rapids and Bishop airport at Flint (although neither is within the area) also have scheduled service proximate to parts of the region. The Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport is now a public airport which gives 24 hour near-all-weather service for general aviation.
The primary means of transportation in Northern Michigan is by automobile. Northern Michigan is served by one interstate, and a number of U.S. highways and Michigan state trunklines. (Roads are organized by number.)
- I-75 continues from the Ohio border, passing Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and Bay City; it then proceeds in a roughly north to West Branch and then to a northwesterly route, touching Grayling and Gaylord, and connects with the Mackinac Bridge at Mackinaw City, which leads on to the Upper Peninsula and Sault Ste. Marie).
- US 10 enters Michigan after it crosses Lake Michigan from Manitowoc to Ludington. US 10 is concurrent with US 31 from Ludington to Scottville before US 31 heads north. The road then heads east through Baldwin and Reed City before it becomes a freeway west of US 127 near the junction with M-115. US 127 and US 10 overlap for a short distance near Clare. US 10 bypasses Midland and terminates at I-75 in Bay City. Viewed from an east-west orientation, it provides a mainly westerly road across Northern Michigan from Bay City off I-75 toward Ludington.
- US 23 comes out of Ohio merges near Flint with I-75, and then breaks away at Standish. It then proceeds 200 miles (320 km) along (or parallel with) the Lake Huron shoreline, eventually rejoining I-75 at the Mackinac Bridge at Mackinaw City. This section of US 23 has been designated the Sunrise Side Coastal Highway.
- US 27, now US 127
- US 31 mainly parallels the Lake Michigan shore, and runs for 356 miles (573 km) in a northerly direction from the Indiana-Michigan state line southwest of Niles to its terminus at I-75 south of Mackinaw City. From Traverse City, it runs west across the base of the Leelanau peninsula to Benzonia before continuing south to Manistee and other points on the Lake Michigan shore. Northwards, it continues along the east shore of Grand Traverse Bay to Charlevoix and Petoskey, ending just before reaching Mackinaw City and the Mackinac Bridge.
- US 127 ends its 758 mile (1,220 km) journey at Grayling. and directly connects northern Michigan (and the Mackinac Bridge via I-75) to Lansing, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee (all the way down to Chattanooga)
- US 131 is a primary north-south highway that is a freeway from north of Cadillac south to major cities such as Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. North of the freeway terminus, the highway is mostly two lanes, connecting Kalkaska, Mancelona, and ending at US-31 in Petoskey.
- M-13 is a 72.22-mile (116.23 km) north-south highway that cuts through the bay region of the U.S. state of Michigan. The southern terminus is at I-69 south of the town of Lennon with its northern terminus located south of Standish. It is a shorter alternative route, instead of I-75, from Bay City to US 23 in Standish.
- M-22 follows the Lake Michigan shoreline from Traverse City to Manistee and is a scenic drive. It is 114.5 miles (184.3 km) long and traverses Manistee, Benzie, Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties. For most of its length, it closely parallels the Lake Michigan shore. It also passes through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
- M-27 is a short state highway which runs along the old route of US 27. It officially begins at exit 313 (Indian River) off of I-75 and runs through Topinabee into Cheboygan, where it meets US 23. An old stretch of US 27 which runs from Wolverine to Indian River is designated as the "Straits Highway," but is not an actual part of M-27.
- M-32 is 100.14 miles (161.16 km) long. Although it is not a true 'cross-peninsular' highway – it crosses the Lower Peninsula from near Lake Michigan to Lake Huron – it is close, and there are efforts being made to restore the road and the status.
- M-46 is a transpeninsular road, as is M-55 and M-72.
- M-55 is a 155 miles (249 km) transpeninsular road. It starts in Tawas City and ends two miles (3 km) north of Manistee across the Lower Peninsula.
- M-65 runs northward from US 23 at Au Gres (just north of Standish), and is the most direct route to Rogers City and Alpena from the south.
- M-66 is the only state highway to traverse almost the entire north-south distance of the lower peninsula. It runs from the Indiana state line in the south to Charlevoix in the north. It starts as a continuation of State Road 9 and gives access to the Indiana Toll Road.
- M-68 is an east-west state highway that runs from US 31 in Alanson to BUS US 23 in Rogers City. It passes through Indian River, Afton, Tower, and Onaway.
- M-72 starts at downtown Harrisville as its eastern terminus and ends at Empire on the west. In 133 miles (214 kilometers) M-72 runs across the Lower Peninsula, and is one of three true cross-peninsular highways.
- M-115 is a 'diagonal highway,' taking a generally northwest-to-southeast direction from Frankfort, at a junction with M-22 on Lake Michigan to an intersection with US 10 to the east of Clare.
- M-168 is one of the shortest state highways in Michigan, extending 0.95 miles (1.53 km) from a junction with M-22 in downtown Elberta northwest to the former Ann Arbor Railroad ferry docks.
Ferries and bridges
Several ferries still operate in the region.
- The SS Badger carferry departs from Ludington and arrives in Wisconsin.
- Another begins in Charlevoix and goes to Beaver Island.
- The Straits of Mackinac is home to lake ferries that take passengers to Mackinac Island from either Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula or St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula.
- A ferry for tours of Charity Island in the middle of Saginaw Bay and the Charity Island Light (and even dinner cruises) are available. It leaves from Au Gres on the mainland, south of Tawas.
- The Kristen D is a ferry which operates between Cheboygan and Bois Blanc Island.
The largest bridge in Northern Michigan is the Mackinac Bridge connecting Northern Michigan to the Upper Peninsula. The second largest is the Zilwaukee Bridge.
While train lines like the Chicago and West Michigan Railway (later the Pere Marquette Railway) and several commercial cruise lines were early in generating traffic to Northern Michigan destinations, most of these have been discontinued.
A number of annual festivals occur in Northern Michigan including:
- Alpenfest (Gaylord) including the Alpenfest run/walk.
- Art On The Beach (Oscoda)
- "Arts and Crafts shows calendar". http://www.netstreetfair.com/MI_Events.html. around the state.
- Weyerhauser Au Sable River Canoe Marathon – Grayling to Oscoda, one leg of the "Triple Crown of Canoe Racing”. This is one of the few pro-am canoeing events in the U.S., and winning times may be as long as 21 hours.
- Bass Festival (Mancelona)
- Blissfest (folk festival) (Bliss Township)
- Brown Trout Festival (Alpena)
- Cedar Polka Festival (Cedar)
- Cadillac Chestnut Harvest Festival is held every year, on the second Saturday of October
- Celebration Days (Tawas Point State Park)
- Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair, 2nd weekend in August.
- Chicago to Mackinac Boat Race ends on Mackinac Island
- Coho Salmon Festival (Honor)
- Dulcimer FunFest - (Evart)
- Festival on the Bay Petoskey
- Firemen's Memorial Festival (Roscommon)
- Freedom Festival (East Jordan)
- Great Lakes Bioneers Conference
- Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival which provides funding and support for lighthouses. 2nd weekend in October. (Alpena) According to Tim Harrison, Editor in Chief & Publisher of Lighthouse Digest Magazine and President of American Lighthouse Foundation states “There is no other festival like it in the United States. . ."
- Harrisville Arts & Crafts Show - Each Labor Day weekend there is a regional craft show (one of the largest and best attended in Northern Michigan), parade, and national jamboree often referred to as Harmony Weekend. I
- Hoxeyville Music Festival (Hoxeyville)
- Kirtland Warbler Festival and links.
- Leelanau Peninsula Wine & fOOD Festival with Blues (Northport)
- Mackinac Island Fudge Festival
- Mackinac Island Lilac Festival
- Mackinac Island Music Festival
- Annual Mushroom Festival (Mesick)
- National Cherry Festival (Traverse City)
- National Forest Festival (Manistee)
- National Morel Mushroom Festival (Boyne City)
- National Trout Festival (Kalkaska) end of April
- Nautical Festival (Rogers City)
- North American Snowmobile Festival (Cadillac)
- Northport's Harbor Day and July 4 Celebration (Northport)
- Ox Market and Flea Roast (Irons) -- one of the oldest festivals in the state.
- Paul Bunyan Festival & Great Lakes Chainsaw Carving Competition last weekend in August. (Oscoda)
- Polish Festival (Boyne Falls)
- Port Huron to Mackinac Boat Race ends on Mackinac Island
- Posen Potato Festival
- Salmon Slam (Northport, Michigan)
- Scottville Harvest Festival
- Traverse City Film Festival
- Tip-Up Town (Houghton Lake)
- Venetian Festival (Charlevoix)
- WinterFest including a sled dog race (Kalkaska)
- World Famous Labor Day Fish Boil (Northport, Michigan)
Flora and fauna
Northern Michigan has many tree types including maple, birch, Oak, white cedar, aspen, pine, and beech. Ferns, milkweed, Queen Anne's lace, and chicory grow in the open fields and along roadsides. Forest plants include wild leeks, morel mushrooms, and trilliums. Marram grass grows on beaches. Several mosses cover the land.
Common animals in Northern Michigan include white-tailed deer, fox, racoons, and rabbits. black bear, elk, coyote, bobcat, wolves, and mountain lions are also present. Fish include whitefish, yellow perch, trout, bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie, and sunfish.
Common birds are ducks, seagulls, wild turkey, blue herons, cardinals, blue jays, black-capped chickadees, Hummingbirds, Baltimore Oriole, and ruffed grouse. Canada Geese may be seen flying over head in spring and fall. Less well known birds that are unique in Michigan to the Northern Lower Peninsula are spruce grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, red-throated loon, Swainson's hawk, and the boreal owl.  .
The Au Sable State Forest is a state forest in the north-central Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Much of the forest is used for wildlife game management and the fostering of endangered and rare species, such as the Kirtland's warbler – there are regular controlled burns to maintain its habitat. The Kirtland's Warbler has its habitat in an increasing part of the area. There is a Kirtland's Warbler Festival, which is sponsored in part by Kirtland Community College.
The American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society have designated several locations as internationally Important Bird Areas.
Insect populations are similar to those found elsewhere in the midwestern United States. Lady bugs, crickets, dragonflies, mosquitoes, ants, house flies, and grasshoppers are common, as is the Western conifer seed bug, and several kinds of butterflies and moths (for example, monarch butterflies and tomato worm moths). Notable deviations in insect populations are a high population of June bugs during June as well as a scarcity of lightning bugs because of the lower average temperatures year round and especially in the summer.
Northern Michigan is home to Michigan's most endangered species and one of the most endangered species in the world: the Hungerford's crawling water beetle. The species lives in only five locations in the world, four of which are in Northern Michigan (one is in Bruce County, Ontario. Indeed, the only stable population of the rare beetle occurs along a two and a half mile stretch of the East Branch of the Maple River in Emmet County, Michigan.
There are no fatally poisonous snakes native to Northern Michigan. The poisonous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake lives in Michigan, but it is not common, particularly in Northern Michigan. In any event, its non-fatal bite may make an adult sick, but it should be medically treated without delay.
Snakes present include the eastern hog-nosed snake, brown snake, common garter snake, eastern milk snake and the northern ribbon snake. The only common reptiles and amphibians are various pond frogs, toads, salamanders, and small turtles.
Prominent Northern Michigan corporations include:
- Jesse M. Besser invented concrete block in 1904 and founded the Besser Block Co. in Alpena, Michigan.
- Morton Salt operates one of the largest salt plants in the world in Manistee, Michigan.
- USG Corporation, also known as United States Gypsum Corporation, operates several quarries, including one at Alabaster, Michigan, and one in Rogers City, Michigan.
- Lafarge operates one of the world's largest cement plants at Alpena, Michigan.
More comprehensive lists are available at individual cities, villages, etc.
- Bruce Catton, Civil War Historian
- Constance Cappel, author
- Ernest Hemingway, author.
- Claude Shannon, Information Theorist.
- Sufjan Stevens, singer/songwriter
- Dave Campbell, baseball player and sportscaster
- Fred Green, Governor of Michigan, 1927–1931
- James Earl Jones, actor first began acting at the Ramsdell Theater in Manistee.
- Edward Kozlowski, Polish-American priest, later Bishop of Milwaukee
- Harriet Quimby, pioneering aviatrix
- Robert Pershing Wadlow, known as the World's Tallest Man
- Mark Brammer, Michigan State University football player who received the All-America accolade in 1978.
- Jeremy Davies, an actor in Saving Private Ryan and other films.
- Jazz musician Bob James, who created the instrumental theme song Angela for the sitcom Taxi.
- Dan Majerle, former NBA basketball player who played for the Phoenix Suns, Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers
- William G. Milliken, Republican Governor of Michigan from 1969 to 1983
- Doug Mirabelli, MLB baseball player who played for the Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants resides in Traverse City.
- Matt Noveskey, musician in the bands Blue October and (a+) machines.
- Kenny Olson, guitarist for the pop music artist Kid Rock
- Craig Thompson, cartoonist and graphic novelist best known for Blankets
- Barry Watson, an actor whose credits include the television programs 7th Heaven and What About Brian
- Composer and producer Jeff Gibbs, "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Bowling for Columbine," has a residence in Traverse City.
Northern Michigan is in the Designated Market Areas of "Traverse City-Cadillac" (116), "Alpena" (208), and some portions of "Flint-Saginaw-Bay City" (66) .
- Alcona County Review in Harrisville, Michigan
- Alpena News
- Cadillac Evening News
- Charlevoix Courier
- Cheboygan Daily Tribune
- Citizen-Journal (Boyne City/ East Jordan)
- Crawford County Avalanche published in Grayling, Michigan.
- Gaylord Herald Times
- Grand Traverse Herald, weekly newspaper
- Iosco County News-Herald in Iosco County.
- Ludington Daily News
- The Leader and the Kalkaskian 
- Leelanau Enterprise 
- Mackinac Island Town Crier
- Manistee Daily News Advocate
- Midland Daily News
- Missaukee Sentinel
- Northern Express Weekly is the largest weekly newspaper in Northern Michigan, with distribution of up to 30,000 copies in 13 counties
- Oscoda Press serving northern Iosco County and southern Alcona County
- Petoskey News Review
- Presque Isle County Advance
- St. Ignace News (serving the Straits area)
- The Town Meeting (Elk Rapids)
- Traverse City Record-Eagle
- White Pine Press at Northwestern Michigan College, with a circulation of 4,000.
- Daily editions of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News are also available throughout the area.
- Daily editions of the Bay City Times and Saginaw News are available in eastern portions of the area.
- Daily editions of the Grand Rapids Press also are available on news stands in the western portions of the region.
- Traverse is published monthly with a focus on regional interests.
// designates a simulcast.
- 88.1 W201 cm Traverse City - Christian - Rejoice Radio
- 88.5 WIAB Mackinaw City - //88.7 WIAA
- 88.5 WSFP Rust Twp/Alpena - Smile FM
- 88.7 WIAA Interlochen - Classical "IPR Music Radio"
- 89.3 WTLI Bear Creek Twp. (Petoskey) - Contemporary Christian; Smile FM (//88.1 WLGH Lansing)
- 89.7 WJOJ Harrisville/Alpena - Smile FM
- 89.9 WLJN Traverse City - Religious
- 90.5 WPHN Gaylord - Adult Contemporary Christian "Northern Christian Radio"; also airs on 99.7 FM translator in Petoskey
- 90.7 WNMC Traverse City - Variety, College
- 90.9 WTCK Charlevoix - Catholic; also airs on translators 92.1 FM Gaylord/95.3 FM Mackinaw City
- 90.9 WMSD Rose Township (Ogemaw County) - Religious
- 91.1 WOLW Cadillac - //90.5 WPHN
- 91.3 WJOG Good Hart/Petoskey - Smile FM
- 91.3 WZHN East Tawas - //90.5 WPHN
- 91.5 WICA Traverse City - NPR, Public News/Talk
- 91.7 WCML Alpena - Public Music Variety/News/Talk "CMU Public Radio"
- 92.1 WTWS Houghton Lake - Hot Country "92-1 The Twister"
- 92.3 WOUF Beulah - currently silent
- 92.5 WFDX Atlanta - //94.3 WFCX
- 92.9 WJZQ Cadillac/Traverse City - Contemporary Hits "Z-93"
- 93.5 WBCM Boyne City - //103.5 WTCM
- 93.7 WKAD Harrietta/Cadillac - Oldies "Oldies 93.7"
- 93.9 WAVC Mio - //102.9 WMKC
- 94.3 WFCX Leland/Traverse City - Classic Hits "94.3 the Fox FM"
- 94.5 WLJZ Mackinaw City - Classic Rock "The Bear"
- 94.9 WKJZ Hillman/Alpena - //103.3 WQLB; also airs on 98.1 FM translator in Alpena proper
- 95.5 WJZJ Glen Arbor - Modern Rock "The Zone"
- 95.7 WCMB Oscoda - CMU Public Radio
- 96.1 WHNN Bay City - Classic Hits; listenable in the West Branch and Tawas areas
- 96.3 WLXT Petoskey - Adult Contemporary "Lite 96"
- 96.7 WLXV Cadillac - Hot Adult Contemporary "Mix 96"
- 96.7 WRGZ Rogers City - //99.3 WATZ
- 96.9 WWCM Standish - CMU Public Radio
- 97.3 WDEE-FM Reed City/Big Rapids - Oldies "Sunny 97.3"
- 97.5 WKLT Kalkaska/Traverse City - Classic Rock "KLT the Rock Station"
- 97.7 WMLQ Manistee - Soft Adult Contemporary/EZ Listening "97 Coast-FM"
- 97.7 WMRX-FM Beaverton - Oldies/Adult Standards "Timeless Favourites"
- 98.1 WGFN Glen Arbor/Traverse City - Classic Rock "The Bear"
- 98.5 WUPS Harrison/Mount Pleasant - Classic Hits "98.5 UPS"
- 98.9 WKLZ Petoskey - //WKLT 97.5
- 99.3 WATZ Alpena - Country
- 99.3 WBNZ Frankfort - Soft Rock
- 99.9 WHAK-FM Rogers City - Oldies "99-9 The Wave"
- 100.3 WGRY Grayling - Country "Y100"
- 100.7 WWTH Oscoda - Country "Thunder Country" also airs on 94.1 FM translator in Alpena
- 100.9 WICV East Jordan/Charlevoix - //88.7 WIAA
- 101.1 WQON Roscommon/Grayling - Adult Contemporary "Decades 101"
- 101.5 WMJZ Gaylord - Adult Hits "Eagle 101.5"
- 101.5 WMTE Manistee - Classic Hits "Kool 101.5"
- 101.9 WLDR Traverse City - Country "Sunny Country"
- 102.1 WLEW Bad Axe - Adult Hits; listenable on the Lake Huron west shore up to Harrisville.
- 102.7 WMOM Ludington/Pentwater - Top 40 "Always Listen to your Mom"
- 102.9 WMKC St. Ignace - Country "102.9 Big Country Hits"
- 103.3 WQLB Tawas City - Classic Hits "Hits FM"
- 103.5 WTCM-FM Traverse City - Country "Today's Country Music"
- 103.9 WCMW Harbor Springs - CMU Public Radio
- 104.3 WRDS-LP Roscommon - Southern Gospel "The Lighthouse"
- 104.7 WKJC Tawas City - Country
- 104.9 WAIR Lake City/Cadillac - Smile FM
- 105.1 WGFM Cheboygan - //98.1 WGFN
- 105.5 WSJR Honor/Traverse City - //106.7 WSRT
- 105.5 WBMI West Branch - Classic Country
- 105.9 WKHQ Charlevoix - Contemporary Hits "106 KHQ"
- 106.1 WHST Tawas City - //90.5 WPHN
- 106.3 WKLA Ludington - Hot Adult Contemporary "The Lakeshore's Hit Music Station"
- 106.7 WSRT Gaylord - Adult Contemporary "106.7 You FM" also airs on 95.3 FM translator in Petoskey area
- 107.1 WCKC Cadillac - //98.1 WGFN
- 107.5 WCCW Traverse City - Oldies "Oldies 107.5"
- 107.7 WHSB Alpena - Hot Adult Contemporary "107-7 The Bay"
- 107.9 WCZW Charlevoix/Petoskey - //107.5 WCCW
Streaming Internet Radio
- Radio Mackinac official website
- WTCM 580 50000 watt day, 1100 night, directional day and night, Talk, Traverse City
- WARD 750 1000 watt day, 330 night, directional day and night, Country (with WLDR-FM 101.9), Petoskey
- WMMI 830 1000 day only, talk, Shepherd
- WIDG 940 5000 watt day, 4 watt night, Catholic Talk, St. Ignace
- WHAK 960 5000 watt day, 137 night, Country (simulcasting WWTH FM Oscoda), Rogers City - simulcast of WWTH 100.7 FM
- WJML 1110 10000 watt day, 10 night, directional day and night, Talk, Petoskey
- WJNL 1210 50000 watt day, 2500 critical hours, day only, Talk (with WJML-AM), Kingsley
- WGRY 1230 1000 watt day and night, Adult Standards, Grayling
- WATT 1240 1000 watt day and night, Talk, Cadillac
- WCBY 1240 1000 watt day and night, Classic Country "Big Country Gold"
- WMKT 1270 27000 watt day, 5000 night, directional night, Talk, Charlevoix
- WMBN 1340 1000 watt day and night, Adult Standards, Petoskey
- WLJW 1370 5000 watt day, 1000 night, directional day and night, Christian Talk, Cadillac
- WLJN 1400 1000 watt day and night, Christian, Traverse City
- WATZ 1450 - news, talk and sports, Alpena
- WIOS 1480 1000 watt day only, directional, Adult Standards, Tawas City "The Bay's Best"
- WPBN-TV 7/WTOM-TV 4 - (NBC) (Traverse City/Cadillac)
- WWTV 9 - (CBS) (Cadillac)
- WCMU-TV 14 (PBS): WCML (TV) 6 (Alpena) / WCMW 21 (Manistee) / WCMV 27 (Cadillac) / W46AD 46 (Traverse City) / W69AV 69 (Leland)
- WBKB-TV 11 - (CBS) (Alpena)
- WGTU 29 - (ABC) (Traverse City)
- WFQX-TV 33/WFUP 45 - (FOX/UPN, secondary, until September) (Cadillac)
- WLLZ-LP 12 (Traverse City/Cedar)
Cities, villages and towns
- Alpena, Michigan
- Atlanta, Michigan
- Au Gres, Michigan
- Beaver Island (Lake Michigan)
- Boyne City, Michigan
- Boyne Falls, Michigan
- Cadillac, Michigan
- Charlevoix, Michigan
- Cheboygan, Michigan
- East Jordan, Michigan
- East Tawas, Michigan
- Elk Rapids, Michigan
- Empire, Michigan
- Fairview, Michigan
- Frankfort, Michigan
- Gaylord, Michigan
- Glennie, Michigan
- Grayling, Michigan
- Greenbush, Michigan
- Harbor Springs, Michigan
- Harrisville, Michigan
- Hubbard Lake, Alcona County, Michigan
- Indian River, Michigan
- Interlochen, Michigan
- Kalkaska, Michigan
- Kaleva, Michigan
- Lincoln, Michigan
- Ludington, Michigan
- Mackinac Bridge
- Mackinac Island, Michigan
- Mackinaw City, Michigan
- Manistee, Michigan
- Maple City, Michigan
- Mio, Michigan
- Northport, Michigan
- Onaway, Michigan
- Oscoda, Michigan
- Ossineke, Michigan
- Pellston, Michigan
- Petoskey, Michigan
- Posen, Michigan
- Presque Isle, Michigan
- Rogers City, Michigan
- Roscommon, Michigan
- Spruce, Michigan
- Tawas City, Michigan
- Thompsonville, Michigan
- Traverse City, Michigan
- ^ Photographs, Old Mission 45th Parallel signs.
- ^ Photographs, Cairn Highway 45th Parallel cairn (83 county-named rocks) and sign.
- ^ Gaylord signs denoting the 45th Parallel.
- ^ Alpena, Michigan 45th Parallel sign
- ^ List and map of 45th Parallel markers, with links to pictures (accessed 12/17/2007).
- ^ Managing Michigan Wildlife: A Landowners Guide., Sargent, M.S and Carter, K.S., 1999, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, East Lansing, MI.
- ^ "Diocese of Gaylord.". http://www.dioceseofgaylord.org/.
- ^ "Michigan regional geology.". http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/rlandscp/s7-2-2.htm.
- ^ "Map and links for sea kayaking in Michigan.". http://www.trails.com/stateactivity.asp?area=10642.
- ^ Mansnerus, Laura (June 6, 1993). "Bicycling in western Michigan, New York Times". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE1DA1E3EF935A35755C0A965958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- ^ "Cherry capital cycling club map". http://www.cherrycapitalcyclingclub.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=87045&module_id=19676.
- ^ "Michigan Department of Natural Resources on bicycling". http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10365_16816-39693--,00.html.
- ^ "Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore Visitors Bureau.". http://www.sleepingbeardunes.com/.
- ^ "Frankford Elberta Chamber of Commerce". http://www.frankfort-elberta.com/.
- ^ *Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau.
- ^ Detroit Free Press, May 26, 2007
- ^ "Michigan Shore to Shore Riding and Hiking Trail". http://www.kerchevalave.com/mtra/sh2sh.html.
- ^ Great Lakes Circle Tour.
- ^ "River Road Scenic Byway at America's Byways.". http://www.byways.org/browse/byways/10781/.
- ^ "Oscoda Press on Paul Bunyan designation". http://www.oscodapress.com/articles/2005/11/08/news/news01.txt.
- ^ Michigan Historical Markers Traveling Through time: A guide to Michigan Historical Markers
- ^ http://www.nmc.edu/uc/index.html
- ^ Michigan employment rates.
- ^ "Pellston Regional Airport". http://www.pellstonairport.com/.
- ^ Bessert, Christopher J.. "US-10". MichiganHighways.org. http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/MichHwys10-19.html#US-010.
- ^ Picture of northern terminus US 127 at Grayling, Michigan
- ^ "Endpoints of US highways". Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20091027072021/http://www.geocities.com/usend2029/End127/end127.htm.
- ^ "M-32 history, Michigan Highways". http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/MichHwys30-39.html.
- ^ "M-46 Endpoint Photos". http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m46/.
- ^ "M-55 end point photos". http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m55/.
- ^ "Photos of ends of M-72.". http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m/72/.
- ^ History of Michigan highways.
- ^ "M-168 Endpoint Photos". http://www.state-ends.com/michigan/m168/.
- ^ "Charity Island ferry service.". http://www.charityisland.net/ferry.html.
- ^ Plaunt Transportation, Inc., Bois Blanc Island Ferry.
- ^ "Detroit and Mackinac Railway pictures and history.". http://www.railroadmichigan.com/detroitmackinac.html.
- ^ "Michigan Railroad history for Alpena.". http://www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Stories/RailroadOriginsInAlpenaMI.htm.
- ^ Weyerhauser Au Sable River Canoe Marathon
- ^ a b Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival causes.
- ^ West Michigan Tourist Association, FLea Roast and Ox Market.
- ^ Scottville Harvest Festival.
- ^ Sled Dog Central, Kalkaska race.
- ^ DNRE Confirms Cougar Sighting in Michigan, The Morning Sun
- ^ Save the Cougar home page.
- ^ Michigan Wildlife Conservancy 1/29/2009 Lawmakers Look At Cougar Evidence
- ^ "Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Kirtland's Warbler Populations Continue to Grow.". http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10371_10402-175411--,00.html.
- ^ "Kirtland Warbler Festival and links.". http://warbler.kirtland.edu/.
- ^ Michigan Michigan Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program
- ^ "Alcona County Review". http://www.alconareview.com/.
- ^ "The Alpena News". http://www.thealpenanews.com.
- ^ "The Cadillac Evening News". http://www.cadillacnews.com/.
- ^ "Charlevoix Courier". http://www.charlevoixcourier.com/privacy/.
- ^ "Cheboygan Daily Tribune". http://www.cheboygannews.com/.
- ^ "The Citizen-Journal (Boyne City/ East Jordan)". http://www.citizenandjournal.com/aboutus.shtml.
- ^ "Crawford County Avalanche". http://www.crawfordcountyavalanche.com/.
- ^ "Gaylord Herald Times". http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/.
- ^ "Grand Traverse Herald". http://www.gtherald.com/.
- ^ "Iosco County News Herald home page". http://www.iosconews.com/about_us/.
- ^ "Ludington Daily News.". http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/.
- ^ "The Leader and the Kalkaskian.". http://morningstarpublishing.com/leader_and_kalkaskian/.
- ^ "Leelanau Enterprise.". http://www.leelanaunews.com/drupal/.
- ^ "Manistee Daily News Advocate". http://www.manisteenews.com/.
- ^ "Midland Daily News". http://www.ourmidland.com/site/news.asp?brd=2289.
- ^ "Northern Express Weekly.". http://www.northernexpress.com/aboutus.asp.
- ^ "Oscoda Press home page". http://www.oscodapress.com/about_us/.
- ^ "Petoskey News Review home page". http://www.petoskeynews.com/.
- ^ "Presque Isle County Advance.". http://www.piadvance.com/.
- ^ "St. Ignace News.". http://www.stignacenews.com/.
- ^ "Traverse City Record-Eagle". http://www.record-eagle.com/.
- ^ "Bay City Times". http://www.mlive.com/bctimes/.
- ^ "Saginaw News". http://www.mlive.com/saginawnews/.
- Bogue, Margaret. Around the Shores of Lake Michigan: A Guide to Historic Sites. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985. ISBN 978-0-299-10004-9.
- Cappel, Constance,Editor, Odawa Language and Legends: Andrew J. Blackbird and Raymond Kiogima,2006. ISBN 1-59926-920-1.
- Cappel, Constance, The Smallpox Genocide of the Odawa Tribe at L'Arbre Croche, 1763: The History if a Native American People, Lewiston,NY: The Edwin Mellen Press; Lewiston, NY, 2007, ISBN 10; 0-7734-5220-6
- McRae, Shannon, Images of America: Manistee County (2003).
- Reed, Earl H. The Dune Country. Berrien Springs, MI: Hardscrabble Books, 1979. Reprint of 1916 Edition.
- Ruchhoft, Robert H. Exploring North Manitou, South Manitou, High and Garden Islands of the Lake Michigan Archipelago. Cincinnati, OH: Pucelle Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-940029-02-6.
- Russell, Curran N., and Dona Degen Baer, The Lumberman's Legacy (1954).
- Wood, Mable C. Scooterville, U.S.A. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962.
- Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, bibliographies organized by county and region.
- Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography on Michigan (arranged by counties and regions).
- Enchanted forest, Northern Michigan source for information, calendars, etc.
- Great Lakes Coast Watch
- Info Michigan, detailed information on 630 cities
- Life and Activities in the Area, from lifeinnorthernmichigan.com
- Michigan Geology – Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.
- List of Museums, other attractions compiled by state government.
- Michigan's Official Economic Development and Travel Site, including interactive map, information on attractions, museums, etc.
- Michigan Historical Markers.
- Northern Michigan Culture and Community Website.
- Michigan Department of Natural Resources Harbors, hunting, resources and more.
- Northern Michigan history from insiders.com
- Northern Michigan travel article from the Petoskey News Review
- Webcams for Northern Michigan
|This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Northern Michigan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.|