9 Nov
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Take a Trip: Apostle Islands and Keweenaw Peninsula

There have been several places we’ve visited that we hope to visit again when children are older and physically capable of doing more. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin is one of those places. I hope to go back and try kayaking Lake Superior. During our July vacation stop at Apostle Islands we enjoyed hiking a mainland trail to view “sea” caves.

red cliffs of Apostle Islands National Seashore

We hiked most of the Lakeshore Trail which begins at Meyers Beach. We only saw a handful of other people on the trail, allowing us to enjoy the beauty of Apostle Islands without crowds, which is truly a blessing when on vacation. Lakeshore Trail is through thick vegetation. The trail has large sections of boardwalk to help curb erosion around the trail through the forest. The kids kept their eyes peeled for a myriad of bugs and frogs through the marshy undergrowth. Lakeshore Trail at Meyers Beach at Apostle Islands

We could hear the sea caves the closer we hiked to cliff edges. Sea caves should be on every outdoor enthusiast’s must-see list. The power of water never ceases to amaze me, whether rain, river, lake or ocean. Listening and watching as the water of Lake Superior slammed into the red rock of the mainland was mesmerizing.sea caves at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

children running on the shore of Lake Superior at sunset

Our youngest child must have asked 50 times if we were sure the giant lake before us wasn’t an ocean. We arrived back to our car after our hike near sunset. Watching our kids run along the shore of Lake Superior with water lapping at their bare feet and the orange sun setting in the background is a treasured image for me. I vividly remember standing on that stretch of beach with just my laughing children and husband, stopped in a moment when everything was nothing but calm. I’d go back in a second.

Keweenaw Peninsula near Hougton, Michigan

Keweenaw National Historic Site museum

Our next road trip destination was the Keweenaw Peninsula and the Keweenaw National Historical Park in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan. The UP is wild and untamed. We drove miles on stretches of highway with few cars. Impenetrable forests lined the roads with towering trees that left us wondering what might be lurking in those trees. The historical park tells of Keweenaw’s industrial age of copper mining. We learned about an area of our country fiercely loved by the people who live there, who will do anything to stay there after their main industry dies out, even if it means working multiple jobs.Bridge on Keweenaw Peninsula

shores of Lake Superior on Keweenaw Peninsula

Immigrants came to Keweenaw in the late 1800s and early 1900s during the copper mining boom. The focus now is on preserving the heritage of the area and educating visitors to the peninsula. I enjoyed the free but driven spirit of the area. As we drove north to Copper Harbor at the tip of the peninsula, the weather turned windy and rain poured from the sky. It seemed fitting for the area. We enjoyed more rocky shorelines of Lake Superior with cold water stinging our feet and piles of colorful rocks sorted on the shore. History meeting natural, raw beauty is a win-win for a vacation.

Next up on our summer 2016 road trip: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

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