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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

MUP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) Bicycle Tour




Description:

MackinawIsland
The MUP Tour will explore the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula. We begin and end at St. Ignace; our mid-tour layover day in Sault Ste. Marie will give you plenty of time to discover its treasures. From St. Ignace, you (and your bike) can also ferry over to experience the magic of Mackinac Island.





Saturday, July 14 and Sunday July 15

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After checking in at the Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace on Saturday or Sunday you may enjoy the many attractions in the straits area before riding begins on Monday. Discounted round trip ferry tickets to Mackinac Island for you and your bicycle may be purchased in advance with your registration.

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Among the many sites is the majestic Mackinac Bridge, "The Mighty Mac" as its known; www.mackinacbridge.org. And of course everyone's favorite summer retreat from motor vehicle traffic, Mackinac Island, where bicycles, horses and pedestrians are the only permitted modes of transport. Learn and experience the history and culture of the Mackinac Straits and the northern great lakes area; including the Native Americans, the early French explorers, the British conquerors and finally American independence.


Monday, July 16
lchxislandsThe first day on the MUP will be a nearly flat route from St. Ignace to De Tour Village. Always on your right, the Lake Huron shoreline is skirted by the route in many locations. In other locations there are roads identified which offer a short bike ride to the Lake Huron shoreline. The village of Hessel and Cedarville is approximately midway on the way to De Tour Village and is a recommended stop for lunch . Take time to explore the harbor area of Cedarville, and view the near shore islands of Les Cheneaux, La Salle and Marquette.
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A suggested option once you reach De Tour Village would be an afternoon foray to nearby Drummond Island. It is accessible via one quarter mile ferry crossing of the St. Mary's River.


Tuesday, July 19

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The route to Sault Ste. Marie will be on rural paved roads, primarily with low traffic volume.
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The route is mostly flat, however, there is a challenging hill or two leaving De Tour Village, and a few more hills in the first 10 miles.

Lunch option at the Bruce Town Hall will be included.

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Our approach into Sault Ste. Marie will be along the St. Mary's River pass Edison Sault Hydroelectric Plant, the Soo Locks and under the International Bridge.





Wednesday, July 18
soolockThe layover day in Sault Ste. Marie offers the opportunity to visit the many historical, maritime and cultural attractions in the area. The Soo Locks are a must visit. Great Lakes freighters up to a 1000' in length can be observed close-up making the 25' lift or 25' drop through the locks connecting the St. Mary's River with Lake Superior. The River of History Museum located in the old post office in Sault Ste. Marie offers visitors a trip through history beginning with the geological formation of the Great Lakes, the earliest Native Americans, the French explorers, trappers, traders and missionaries and eventually American independency and statehood.
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You may cross the International Bridge into Canada by presenting a passport, passport card, Enhanced Driver's License, NEXUS, FAST, or SENTRI card, U.S. Merchant Mariner Documentation or U.S. Military Identification. Bicycles can cross anytime in a regular traffic lane.

ferry

A local bike tour on Sugar Island of 30 miles will be offered for those who wish to continue the pedaling during the late morning of the rest day. The tour includes a short ferry crossing to Sugar Island.





Thursday, July 19
pilighthouseThe route from Sault Ste. Marie will take you west through Brimley, around the bay to the Bay Mills Casino, where if you are feeling lucky they will provide you a chance to strike it rich.
A short ride fromt he Casino is a must stop at the Dancing Crane Coffee House.

After passing Point Iroquois Lighthouse Station the area becomes far less populated. The remaining portion of Lakeshore Drive along Whitefish Bay over to M-123 is flat and lined with uninterrupted forests. Because of the heavy forestation, access to the lakeshore is limited, and those areas will be posted and reviewed at the breakfast meeting.

Lunch is included and will be provided at a picnic site over-looking Whitefish Bay. The final run into Paradise on M-123 passes over the Tahquamenon River mouth where it empties into Whitefish Bay. Paradise is a very small community and offers a view of the near wilderness rural life in the U.P. of Michigan.



Friday, July 20
whitefishbkesWhitefish Point, home of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and the Whitefish Point Light Station, is an easy 11 mile ride from Paradise.

edmundfitzThe Edmund Fitzgerald went down off Whitefish Point and the museum is a must stop and see.The journey through the near wilderness country of the U.P. continues on M-123 from Paradise. This area is home to many moose. If you are lucky you might see one in the cedar swamps along the way.


fallsTahquamenon Falls State Park is a must see stop. Both the Lower Falls and the Upper Falls are easily accessible, be sure you have your camera. The Upper Falls is one of the largest east of the Mississippi in the US. The Upper Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a great place to stop for lunch. It is one of the few, if not the only, state park in the country with a micro brewery.


After leaving the park you won't want to miss stopping at the North Star Bakery, where you will feel like you have truly stepped back in time.





Saturday, July 21
lakemiThe last day of the MUP will take you through pure U.P. territory, isolated small communities and lush forest.

Our 2012 route will minimize the time you spend on US 2. The route will still offer some of the most spectacular views of Lake Michigan. US 2 has 8 foot shoulders.

The Little Bear East Arena showers will be open for that final shower upon completing the tour.

MUP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) Bicycle Tour


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