Scenic Michigan, the Leelanau Peninsula
Jutting out into Lake Michigan, the Leelanau Peninsula forms one of the sides of Grand Traverse Bay. It is one of Michigan’s most scenic areas, containing such features as the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, the Empire Bluffs, miles of sandy beaches, and quaint little towns. There are rivers and streams of gin clear water flowing through the area on their way to join Lake Michigan, and lakes of turquoise water dotting the landscape.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was voted as the most beautiful place in the United States by ABC’s Good Morning America viewers, and the National Geographic Society rates it in the top ten of the most beautiful places in the world.
The area has long served as a playground for the rich and famous, and the rich and infamous. Mobster Al Capone built a hideout on the Leelanau Peninsula, and when things got too hot for him in Chicago, he had a high-speed boat to whisk him away to his northern Michigan hide away.
So, for my trip up there, I took the back roads, and I stopped at Nub’s Knob, the highest point in the county in which I live to take a few landscape shots to make sure that I had my set up correct for when I got to the good stuff. While there, I noticed some one watching me intently.
My first real stop was a scenic overlook just north of Arcadia, Michigan.
I shot this one to add a little perspective as to how high up the bluff I was shooting from is.
And, about that time, an eagle did an obligatory fly by to wow all the tourists.
I knew that the light was wrong, but I had to shoot a couple looking south.
This is typical northern Michigan, heavily forested, there are times that it’s hard to see the scenery for all the trees.
My next stop was the Point Betsie Lighthouse.
Point Betsie Light is located on the northeast shore of Lake Michigan, at the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage, north of Frankfort in Benzie County in Northern Michigan. Construction began in 1854, but it was not completed until 1858, and began service in the shipping season of 1859. The lighthouse cost $5000 to build. In 1875, a life saving station was built for $3000.
I then entered the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, but I’m going to do a separate post on that, so I’m going to skip ahead to the village of Leland, Michigan.
As early as 1880, commercial fishermen sailed out of the harbor at Leland, Michigan to catch trout and whitefish, building wooden shacks where they processed their catch and serviced their fleet. Up to eight powered tugs once sailed out of “Fishtown,” as the buildings came to be known. Today, the historic fishing settlement and two fish tugs, Joy and Janice Sue, are owned by a non-profit organization, Fishtown Preservation Society.
From there, it was on to the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.
Grand Traverse Light is a lighthouse in the U.S. state of Michigan, located at the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, which separates Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. It marks the Manitou passage, where Lake Michigan elides into Grand Traverse Bay. In 1858, the present light was built, replacing a separate round tower built in 1852. The lighthouse is located inside Leelanau State Park, 8 miles (13 km) north of Northport, a town of about 650 people. This area, in the Michigan wine country, is known for its exquisite beauty and is a popular spot for tourists during the summer months.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as what there is to see on the Leelanau Peninsula, I hope that you have enjoyed this quick tour. It would require weeks or months to photograph everything well, and I tried to do it in a day, so I also hope that you don’t mind the postcard look of most of my photos.
That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!