Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is known for its scenery and serenity, with places like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Tahquamenon Falls. Now, the U.P. is also known as the Most Flannel City in America, according to our Flannel City Face-Off!
The U.P. snagged the title over other worthy competitors including Duluth, Denver, Anchorage, and Portland. So, why is the U.P. so flannel friendly? Here are six reasons, according to guest blogger Pure Michigan.
You can take a selfie next to the Father of Flannel, Paul Bunyan
Legend has it that Paul Bunyan created the Great Lakes as a watering hole for Babe, his blue ox. You can find flannel-clad Paul with his colorful companion at the base of Castle Rock, just outside of St. Ignace. Make the climb up this nearly 200-ft. column of rock to an unmatched view of Lake Huron and Mackinac Island.
Paul also makes an appearance in Manistique – a historic lumber town and self-proclaimed “Home of Paul Bunyan.” Standing 15 feet tall, don’t miss your chance for a flannel photo-op next to the U.P.’s lumberjack legend.
Because colder weather is fun when you’re wearing flannel
With snow and ice in abundance, you can zip across thousands of miles of groomed trails on a snowmobile, jump on a fat tire bike and enjoy the scenery in Marquette, or test your Iditarod-aptitude on a dog sled at Nature’s Kennels. For the more fearless, check out Mt. Bohemia’s 900 foot vertical drops and 94 ungroomed runs.
Flannel-wearing hunters flock to Michigan to take advantage of public lands for deer, elk, bear, waterfowl and other wildlife – and the U.P. is no exception! Inland lakes throughout the U.P. offer countless opportunities to spend a day on the water fishing for salmon, walleye, bass and pike.
It’s one of the best places to unwind
We think that there is truly no place like the Upper Peninsula when you want to go somewhere and unwind and unplug from the everyday. That’s because life is a little more simple, casual, and rugged in the U.P.
Spend an afternoon in charming downtown Marquette, grab some lunch at Antlers in Sault Ste. Marie (a taxidermy paradise!), or have a beer at a local watering hole or brewery.
Whatever you choose, don’t forget to make a stop to sample the classic U.P. comfort food, the pasty!
Have a “how’d they do that?” moment
Located in Sault Ste. Marie, the Soo Locks are a man-made engineering marvel and one of the busiest waterway traffic systems in the world! Between seven and ten thousand ships come through the locks each year.
Hoards of boat-watchers gather to watch the freighters make the 21-foot drop in elevation between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. If that doesn’t entice you, here are eight more reasons for a visit to the locks.
It’s perfectly fine to channel your inner-lumberjack
Take a trip back in time at the Tahquamenon Logging Museum and Nature Study in Newberry featuring original C.C.C. buildings full of photos, models and original logging equipment and the opportunity to eat a real lumberjack’s breakfast made over a wood stove. Nearby Tahquamenon Falls State Park boasts 40,000 acres stretching over 13 miles as well as one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi.
And if you’ve been saving a prized flannel for a special occasion, you’re in luck! Baraga’s Lumberjack Days are the perfect opportunity.
It’s where past meets present
From 1844 to 1985, more than fourteen billion pounds of copper were produced from Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in the U.P. Today, these mines are a great way for visitors to experience and learn about mining heritage.
While visiting the Copper Country, a tour through the historic Adventure Copper Mine is a must-do. Walk through part or all of the tunnels on the first level or try your hand at rappelling with a rope and harness to the second level of the mine.
The Quincy Mine also offers three unique tours. Take a ride on the cog-rail tram car down the hill to the mine entrance and then ride by tractor-pulled wagon into the mine, seven levels underground.
Whether you’re posing with Paul or polishing off a pasty, we’re sure you’ll love the U.P. just as much as we do – michigan.org has all the resources you’ll need to plan your trip.