More to Discover in Michigan
In the previous post, we shared with you some of the must-see gems in and around beautiful Petoskey, but we didn’t even begin to touch on the amazing array of natural wonders that surround us here in Northern Michigan.
As you plan your summer on the road in your luxury RV, you will want to be sure to share some quality time with the ones you love discovering these awe-inspiring natural wonders:
When it comes to experiencing the night sky in Northern Michigan, it is imperative that we let you in on one of the best kept treasures; the Headlands International Dark Sky Park.
Just two miles west of Mackinaw City, is where you will find the only International Dark Sky park in the U.S. It is one of only 30 Dark Sky parks in the entire world, and it is an absolute must-see. Here you will have one of the best views to watch the millions of stars that make up the Milky Way sparkle in the night sky. This is one of the places that you might just get to see the unpredictable and illusive Northern Lights.
Watch the Northern Lights
Speaking of the aurora borealis, one of the main attractions of being immersed in a place so full of nature is that there is very little light pollution. The darkness lends to the sky being alight with the stars at night, and if you’re lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of the dancing colours of the Northern Lights.
Some might think that you would have to travel much further north to see the aurora borealis, but it can certainly be spotted in Northern Michigan. The thing to remember is that the lights tend to be low in the sky, so you won’t be able to see them from any where with a high tree-line. Your best bet is to find a place where nothing is obstructing your view; like along the shores of the lakes that are so plentiful around here.
Freshwater Underwater Discoveries
A mere 800 feet offshore, in Little Traverse Bay right here in Petoskey, you will find the only freshwater underwater shrine in the world. In 1962, an 11-foot crucifix was placed deep in the clear, cold water of Lake Michigan, serving as a memorial to divers who have died in the water in the hundreds of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.
This underwater statue is something of an interesting must-see attraction, as it is not easily accessible. Scuba divers can visit it, but the rest of us landlubbers can only get a glimpse of the sunken cross on a day in the dead of winter when a hole is cut in the 4 foot thick ice, and people gather in the cold to walk out and see it for themselves. It is certainly a lake experience unlike any other.
Northern Michigan is certainly a diver’s paradise. You can explore an host of sunken ships, from side-wheel steamers sitting in just a few inches of water to modern freight ships in hundreds of feet of water. There is also the possibility to snorkel, paddleboard, or kayak over some of these wrecks!
If you’re into geology, you’re going to love Northern Michigan. Head out to the Petoskey breakwall, or stroll the beaches of Charlevoix in search of fossils known as the “Petoskey Stone.”
These 400-million year old rock formations look like limestone to the untrained eye, but they can be polished into something that looks like a turtle’s shell. Technically these hexagonally patterned stones are rock and fossilized coral that were deposited during the Devonian Period, and were later churned up from the earth by glaciers.
Petoskey Stones can best be found on overcast or rainy days along the beach. They seem to stand out better on those days because the distinctive muddled pattern is not as visible when the stone is in the light. But don’t worry if you cannot find one on your adventures, these stones are for sale in many of the shops around Northern Michigan, and they have already been polished and possibly even made into a charming piece of decorative art.
We have so much more we would like to share with you about the bountiful beauty that surrounds us here in Petoskey, Michigan, so feel free to stop in and stay with us for a while so you can get a well-rounded experience of everything that Northern Michigan has to offer.