Going forward, with less planned on my calendar in 2014, here's hoping I can find a way to visit a few other sites that I haven't seen or it's been a while since I was last there. I've got some places I plan to see, what I'd like to see and what I probably won't see.
What I plan on seeing
Island Lake State Recreation Area
This is an annual trip, but it's one I enjoy so much that I've practically gone every year for the last 15
|Here's hoping there's snow this year.|
Combine the winter activities with a group of great people and some tasty eats, and it's a trip. The backwoods cabins tucked in the back of the park make for that up-north feel when you're only in Livingston County. No electricity inside means lanterns light your way. The sounds of snowmobiles and mountain bikes come through the brush along the trail. It's a great place in the winter.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
It's been almost 10 years since I last visited this park with the same group, but they are planning on returning for a weekend trip in May. The falls are a spectacular view and visiting Lake Superior is something I always long for, with it being my favorite Great Lake.
For a weekend trip, Tahquamenon Falls is a lengthy drive, but will hopefully be worth it. Seeing the shipwreck museum near Whitefish Point is something I enjoy seeing, and hiking in the spring will be a new experience for me up there.
What I'd like to see
|Sunset near Oscoda.|
I was able to make it to Oscoda this past summer for a long weekend, but there's no guarantee that I'll
make it up there again this year. I've spent many summers driving the stretch of US-23 along the eastern coast of Michigan's Lower Peninsula and find it more fulfilling than visiting the west coast of the state. It's less crowded and there are more hidden gems to find.
Bay City State Park
It's been several years since I went to Bay City State Park when I lived in Bay City, but going back to view the Saginaw Bay is up there on my list. While it might not be the cleanest water, the view is great and it's located nearby Bay City, a town I really enjoyed living in, albeit for four months.
Grand Haven State Park
|The pier at Grand Haven.|
I've been here several times, the last being in 2012. The pier is beautiful and the walk along it to the lighthouse is well worth it to see the view of Lake Michigan. Watching the boats come into the harbor on the Grand River is beautiful. One of my favorite places in the entire state.
Places I probably won't see
It's been several years since visiting Mackinac Island, and this year will probably be no exception. While I've wanted to take my wife north of the Mackinac Bridge, with costs and other life events getting in the way, I don't see a trip to Mackinac Island in the future. But it would be nice.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Another wonderful place to visit, especially off-season. I don't envision a trip here this year, but it's always great to dream. I've been to the dunes several times, and always enjoy exploring the park and the surrounding area near Traverse City. But probably not this year.
Port Crescent/Sleeper State Park
It's been many, many years since my last trip up here, but it's a place I've talked about going for three years now with a good friend of mine. There's not much at the tip of the Thumb, but the view of Lake Huron is great and I've heard Port Austin is a quaint town.
Is there another area I should explore this year? I'd love to hear some suggestions, I'm always looking for new places to explore.