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Point Iroquois

Michigan

Four Superior Day Trips from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

By: Joel Welin

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  • States:
    Michigan

This charming and historic town offers the perfect base camp for day-long natural and cultural excursions.

From Sault Ste. Marie, you’re just a short drive away from a compelling combination of adventure and history in the forests of Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula and along the shores of Lake Superior.

Day One: Visit Point Iroquois Lighthouse

The Point Iroquois light signals the entrance to the St. Marys River from Lake Superior. Built in 1855 and updated in 1870, the 20-meter tower contains a museum. Climb the 72 steps to the top, then you can cool off at the nearby beach.

Getting there: West from Sault Ste. Marie, take Michigan 6 Mile to Curley Lewis Highway into Brimley. The lighthouse complex is 12 kilometers north on 6 Mile Road.

Climb 72 steps to the top of the Point Iroquois lighthouse for rewarding views of Lake Superior.

Climb 72 steps to the top of the Point Iroquois lighthouse for rewarding views of Lake Superior.
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Day Two: Discover Mission Point Overlook

Take an easy 6.4-kilometer hike along a ridgetop and up a simple switchback that brings you to Mission Point Overlook. Along the way, you’ll have excellent views of the clear Spectacle and Monocle lakes as well as Lake Superior. With its colorful leaves in autumn, the overlook is a favorite of locals.

Getting there: West from Sault Ste. Marie, take Michigan 6 Mile to Curley Lewis Highway through Brimley about 4 kilometers to Lakeshore Drive. Follow it for 8 kilometers to Tower Road, which is 2.5 kilometers from the trailhead.

The Mission Point Overlook hike takes you through beautiful Michigan scenery, especially in the fall.

The Mission Point Overlook hike takes you through beautiful Michigan scenery, especially in the fall.
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Day Three: Explore Tahquamenon Falls

One of the largest waterfalls in the eastern United States, the cascade drops 15 meters. Hemlock and cedar swamps draining into the Tahquamenon River add a honey-colored tint to the water. About 6.5 kilometers downstream is the Lower Falls, five smaller cascades that surround an island. You can rent a rowboat at the Portage Campground concession, and row out to the island for photos and picnics.

Getting there: West from Sault Ste. Marie, take Michigan Highway 123 north through Eckerman to Paradise. The road then loops southwest, past the Upper Falls trailhead to Newberry.

Boardwalks surrounding Tahquamenon Falls offer diverse views and photo opportunities.

Boardwalks surrounding Tahquamenon Falls offer diverse views and photo opportunities.
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Day Four: Visit Whitefish Point Lighthouse

Whitefish Point marks the southern shore of “The Graveyard of the Great Lakes” and is the oldest (1849) active beacon on Lake Superior. You can visit the Shipwreck Museum and climb to the top for a view across the bay to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River.

Getting there: West from Sault Ste. Marie, take Michigan 6 Mile Road into Brimley, then follow the shoreline to Curley Lewis Highway. The lighthouse complex is 38 kilometers west on 6 Mile Road from Sault Ste. Marie.

 

The Whitefish Point Lighthouse also houses the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.

The Whitefish Point Lighthouse also houses the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.
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Getting to Sault Ste. Marie

You can get to Chippewa County International Airport, located 32 kilometers south of Sault Ste. Marie, via direct Delta flights from Detroit, Michigan. From there, it’s easy to rent a car and head to “the Soo”.

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Frankenmuth’s Funships steam along the Cass River

Destination

Frankenmuth

The1879 Capitol building and downtown skyline at dusk
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Destination

Lansing

Arcadia Creek bridge in downtown Kalamazoo, with spring trees in bloom

Destination

Kalamazoo

BaySail’s impressive Appledore Tall Ships setting sail

Destination

Bay City

Looking back at the Point Iroquois Lighthouse

Destination

Sault Ste. Marie

Rows of grapevines at a Leelanau Peninsula vineyard at dusk

Destination

Traverse City

Driftwood floats over a dam on the Grand river

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Grand Rapids