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Discover Michigan's Thumb
36 minutes | Oct 19, 2020
Mike Rickerman - Associate Real Estate Broker and Lexington, Michigan Advocate
In this episode, I talk with Mike Rickerman, Associate Real Estate Brokerage and life long Lexington, Michigan resident. If you are looking for a great vacation home or to relocate to a safer, slower pace of life, Lexington and the surrounding area may be just what you want. From Lake front property, to land and/or farms, you can find it here in the Michigan Thumb.Mike can be reached using one of the following methods:Phone – 810-712-1568Email – MikeRickerman@yahoo.comTown and Country Website - http://townandcountrymichigan.com/about-us/agents/mike-rickerman/Listings Website - https://www.zillow.com/profile/mikerickerman7/Check out Discover Michigan’s Thumb Instagram page – www.Instagram.com/discovermichigansthumbWebsite – www.discovermichigansthumb.com
10 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
Episode 002: Traveling M-25, Pt. 2 - Harbor Beach to Bay City
Today in this episode I will take you from Harbor Beach to Bay City. There are so many stops on this trip, you can probably plan a whole weekend seeing the sites. Leaving Harbor Beach, it is just a short (but very scenic) drive of about 7 miles to Port Hope. Port Hope is a small town of about 250 year-round residents located right on Lake Huron. Here you will find a marina as well as a really cool restored railroad depot that has been turned into a museum. As you leave Port Hope, you will be heading north on M-25. About 2.5 miles north of Port Hope, you will come to a crossroad named Pochert Rd. If you take a right hand turn onto Pochert Rd(which is a dirt Rd), you can drive about 1.5 miles down the dirt road till it ends, while there is not an official parking lot, you can park here, you are in the Kernan Memorial Nature Sanctuary. It is a 45 acre preserve left to Michigan by the estate of William J. Kernan and had been in the Kernan family’s possession since 1902. There is a hidden sandy beach that I will let you discover. You ill be looking at a cove off of Lake Huron here. It is called Whisky Cove. During prohibition, liquor from Canda was smuggled across Lake Huron and the boats would put in here because of the shelter from Lake Huron weather and prying eyes.After exploring the Kernan Memorial Nature Sanctuary, head back out Pochert Rd to M-25 and make a right hand turn to head north again. There is now just a short 4.5 mil trip till you get to Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse. Established originally in 1848, it was updated to its current design in 1875 and designated a first class station and has been witness to many storms that Lake Huron can dish up over the last 172 years. It is one of the 10 oldest lighthouses in Michigan. The lighthouse and grounds are now owned by PABL (Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse) Society, a 501c3 and there are lots of updates and restoration plans for the museum. In the area are also cabins for rent and an RV park right on Lake Huron.Leaving the lighthouse, you will have a scenic drive for the next about 7 miles till Grind Stone City. Grind Stone City was a boom town in the Thumb of Michigan in the late 1800’s when it was discovered that a certain type of gritty sandstone was perfect for making Grind Stones use in all sorts of applications and sizes.Grind Stone City is now a resort and retirement town. It is a great place to catch a bite to eat at Shelley’s bar and grill or Grindstone General Store and then walk around the harbor. There is no longer a town, but there is still plenty to see. You will now be basically at the tip of the thumb. Stay on Pointe aux Barques Rd until you get to Wallace Rd and head up to Eagle Bay Public Access. To your left is the mouth of Saginaw Bay and to your right, you are looking out to Lake Huron. This is the tip of the Michigan Thumb. Head back to Pointe aux Barques Rd and turn right. From Eagle Bay Public Access, it’s only 4 miles till you arrive in Port Austin.Port Austin is a bustling tourist town near the tip of the thumb. There are all sorts of summer events that take place and there are numerous restaurants, fishing, boating, kayaking (Turnip Rock), and other fun things to do. I included a link in the show notes to the Port Austin Chamber of Commerce web page to help you plan your getaway. As you leave Port Austin, just a short 7 mile trip to the southwest, you will be at Port Crescent State Park. This incredible state park is 640 acres on Lake Huron. Port Crescent is home to a dark sky preserve, three miles of sandy shoreline, a modern campground, and a boardwalk. You can also fish, canoe, hike, cross-country ski, go birding, and hunting. This is a state park, so a Recreation Passport is required to use the facility. Once you leave Port Crescent State Park, you will be headed west and slightly south on M-25 and in about 7 miles come to Sleeper State Park. This is a 723 acre park on the shores of Saginaw Bay and another one of the true natural gems of Michigan. Here at Sleeper State Park, you can watch Sunrise and Sunsets over the bay. There are forests to wander and beaches to relax on. You will need a Recreation Passport to access the park. There is so much to explore in this area for anyone staying here. As you hike the trails in Sleeper State Park, you can also hike and explore the 2,200 acres of Rush Lake State Game Area. Bring your boat to go out in the Bay, with amazing fishing for perch, walleye, salmon, and lake trout. Make sure to check seasons and limits before heading out.When you exit Sleeper State Park, it's just a short 5 mile trip to Caseville. Caseville is a small town with just 770 year-round residents. Caseville has a number of events that take place through the spring, summer, and fall. You will find the annual Cheeseburger Festival here which is a tip of the hat to Jimmy Buffet. There are lots of things to keep you busy in Caseville, but many go there for the beautiful sandy beaches. With sandbars running off shore, you will see many people sitting in chairs offshore enjoying the water. If operating a boat tour around Charity Island to see the lighthouse is another great way to experience Saginaw Bay.As you leave Caseville and head southwest on M-25 you will have views of Wild Fowl Bay out into Saginaw Bay. A short nine miles will bring you into Bay Port. Here in Bay Port is the Bay Port Fish Company, one of the few remaining commercial fishing operations on the Great Lakes. It started in the 1840’s and has been in operation since. You can get fresh, smoked, and frozen fish here. Please check the website link in show notes for current hours.Once you leave Bay Port, you will head southwest along Saginaw Bay coming to Sebewaing which is 10 miles. About 6 miles past Sebewwaing, you will come into Unionville. At this point in the trip, you will be headed south on M-25 headed slightly away from the bay and you will be going through farmland that makes up the bulk of the Michigan Thumb. Depending upon the time of year, you may encounter roadside vegetable stands. As you travel west out of Unionville, twelve miles ahead you will be able to visit Vanderbilt County Park and Campground. This is a great park in Tuscola County right on Saginaw Bay. This is an 18-acre park on the bay and you can get some great views and pictures here. Please access the link in the show notes to see current hours of operation.Leaving Vanderbilt Park, and heading 12 miles west on 25 you come into Bay City and the trip around the thumb is done.As always, thank you for joining me on this week's episode. There are lots more hidden gems along Lake Huron that I didn’t cover and are yours to discover.Port Hope Depot - http://porthopedepot.org/Kernan Memorial Nature Sanctuary - https://michigannature.iescentral.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=locationgallery&action=listing&listing=182Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse - https://pointeauxbarqueslighthouse.org/Grind Stone City - https://whalensgrindstoneshores.com/Port Austin - https://portaustinarea.com/Turnip Rock - https://huroncountyparks.com/blog/about-turnip-rock-in-port-austinPort Cresent State Park - https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=486&type=SPRKSleeper State Park - https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/ParksandTrails/Details.aspx?id=494&type=SPRKCaseville Chamber of Commerce - https://www.casevillechamber.com/Bay Port Fish Company - http://www.bayportfish.com/Vanderbilt County Park - https://www.tuscolacounty.org/parks/#!
11 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
Episode 001: Traveling M-25, Pt. 1 - Port Huron to Harbor Beach
Discovering Michigan’s ThumbEpisode 1 - Driving Scenic M-25 - Lakeshore RdWelcome to the first episode of Discovering Michigan’s Thumb. Having grown up in Michigan’s thumb, I can sometimes forget how truly unique and beautiful this part of the country is and in this episode I’ll introduce you to the drive around the outside of the thumb on beautiful M-25.The drive from Port Huron to Bay City is about 190 miles around the thumb of Michigan. Coming in from the southern part of the state, you will enter the city of Port Huron from I-94 Eastbound, where you will see the Blue Water Bridge. This is the bridge to Sarnia, Ontario and goes over the St. Clair River at the mouth of Lake Huron. In the future I’ll be doing a whole episode on Port Huron and things to see and do.Once you make a left hand turn onto Pine Grove heading north, you will have your first decision to make. Do I take Pine Grove north till it merges with M-25 or do I take the first right at Garfield Street and head east to see Lighthouse Park where you will find the first of numerous lighthouses, The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse. Here you will find the oldest lighthouse in Michigan, it was built in 1829. The tower is now 82 feet tall and still operates almost 200 years after it first started operations(see show appendix).Coming back out on Garfield, turn right onto Gratiot Rd where you will be driving along the shore and Gratiot will turn into Lakeshore Rd at Keewahdin Rd. Here you will stay on Lakeshore Rd heading north. While the shore is built up with houses, there will be breaks that allow beautiful glimpses of Lake Huron. About 5 miles north of where Lakeshore and Pine Grove merge you will come to Lakeport State Park. Lakeport State Park (see show appendix) is about 565 acres that straddles M-25. There are beautiful beaches, campgrounds, grilling facilities, and recreational opportunities. Please go to the state park website to see what is open, available, and events taking place. You do need a recreation passport to enter the park.Getting back on M-25, you will head north and go 11 miles from Lakeport State Park and you will enter the village of Lexington. Lexington as a township in Michigan was formed in 1837 after President Andrew Jackson made Michigan a state. Here in Lexington you will find lots of small shops to visit, several notable Bed & Breakfast places and Lexington Harbor. This would be your first stop if traveling the Michigan Thumb by water. You can watch or launch a boat from this location and enjoy the public beach as well.Once you leave Lexington, headed north on M-25 you will continue through the houses built on the water and glimpses of Lake Huron through the trees. About 11 miles north of Lexington, you will get to Port Sanilac. A few miles before Port Sanilac, you will have the opportunity to pull over into Lake Huron Roadside Park. This small park on Lake Huron is an amazing gem to stop and just enjoy the sites. There are picnic tables, bathrooms, and access to the beach at the base of the cliff. Be sure to read the historical marker about The Great Storm of 1913.Then continue onward 2 miles north on M-25 to arrive in the smal village of Port Sanilac. With little shops to explore and another harbor. There are lots of things to view in Port Sanilac including Port Sanilac Lighthouse and the Sanilac County Museum of which part is housed in Dr. Loop’s twenty-room Victorian mansion. Also, if you're a scuba diver, there is the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve.Getting back on M-25, a short 5 miles north of Port Sanilac is Forester. Here are some camping and food options for travelors. Including Forester Park.As you head out of Forester, a short 6.5 miles north you will get to Four Mile Scenic Turnout. You will have awesome views of Lake Huron and stairs down to the beach. These roadside parks are amazing spots for open and expansive views of Lake Huron.Less than two miles up M-25 from Four Mile Scenic Turnout is Deleware Park. Delaware Park(see show appendix) is a 111 acre piece of land right on the shore of Lake Huron and part of the Sanilac County Park System. It is available for day use to enjoy the beach, nature trails, fishing, and hiking. As you continue north on M-25 from Deleware Park, you will enter the village of Forestville 3.3 miles north of Deleware Park. Forestville is a small village on Lake Huron and there is only a year-round population of about 136 people. The village was first formed in 1854 with the construction of a sawmill. All through the thumb, lumber was a huge industry. While there is not a harbor in Forestville, there is a boat launch here if you want to head out to fish Lake Huron.Heading out of Forestville, just under 4 miles up M-25 is White Rock Roadside Park. At the roadside park, you have crossed into Huron County for this part of the trip.White Rock has both picnic and restroom facilities and is a great spot to stop with lots of historical significance. Offshore is a “White Rock” known to all the local Native American tribes in Michigan. This white rock was the boundary between white land and native american land from the 1807 treaty with the tribes of Michigan. The treaty was called the Treaty of Detroit in 1807 (See show appendix).Once you leave White Rock Roadside Park, a short 4.5 miles up the road is Wagener Park. This is a fantastic Huron County park sitting on 132 acres on Lake Huron. Here you can find both modern and tent camping sites along with several miles of hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas and fishing opportunities. Here, like several places on Lake Huron, the beaches are rocky and not the best for swimming (See show appendix).Getting back on M-25 from Wagener Park, a short 5 miles up the road is Harbor Beach. Harbor Beach is an old city,settled in 1838 and it became a village in 1882. First called Sand Beach, in 1898 the Harbor of Refuge was completed and the village changed their name to Harbor Beach. In Harbor Beach, there are numerous things to do and this makes a great place to stop for the first day.You will find the following items of interest in Harbor Beach:Harbor Beach LighthouseFrank Murphy MuseumHunter’s BarGrice House MuseumBed & BreakfastsGolfingCampgroundsBoat LaunchIn the next episode I’ll finish the trip for you to Bay City Michigan. Thank you and I hope you enjoy Discovering Michigan’s Thumb.Lakeshore State Park - https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?type=SPRK&id=466Sanilac County Historical Museum - http://www.sanilaccountymuseum.org/Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve - http://www.michiganpreserves.org/sanilac.htmForester Park - http://www.sanilaccountyparks.com/forester-park/Delaware Park - http://www.sanilaccountyparks.com/delaware-park/White Rock Park - Treaty of Detroit https://www.wdl.org/en/item/2746/Wagener Park - https://huroncountyparks.com/wagener-county-parkaXyDpd6Eo73OY115AyH4
4 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
Discover Michigan's Thumb - Trailer
Welcome to the Discover Michigan's Thumb podcast. I'll take you around the thumb of Michigan to discover the people, places, and things that make this such a special area.
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