Hope you’ll be able to join the launch party for my book Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure on Wednesday, June 8th at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in the Detroit River (for more details, click here).
If you can’t make this particular upcoming island adventure, reasons abound for you to visit other Great Lakes Basin islands this year. (And you can find many more reasons in my book!)
Here are five—a handful of—reasons, each represented in a collage or sequence of photos below, which just may pique your interest in visiting a Great Lakes Basin island or two. (Note: These are examples only; there are far too many of these five popular island features to include every instance of every subject from every Great Lakes Basin island!)
What’s your pleasure?
The temperate climate created by all of the water–slow to warm up, slow to cool down–creates the perfect climate for growing grapes. Cheers!
If you’re feeling more sober–and especially if you’re interested in history–remember, the French, the British, and other Europeans who came to the Midwest settled on the Great Lakes Basin islands first. Given the dense forest and intermittent swamp, the mainland was impenetrable. Hence, the oldest cemeteries in the Midwest tend to be on these islands. Do you recognized any of these Great Lakes Basin island cemeteries?
Found sometimes at the departure point on the mainland, sometimes on the island, and sometimes in between, look for these stalwart beacons, some which are still saving lives and some which have been decommissioned, their function now assigned to nearby automated steel tower structures.
And, it is time to make those ferry reservations. Now. I’ve provided the links to the ferry services below, so have at it! Today. A lot of choices await you . . .
. . . from the grand enclosed Great Lakes ferries . . .
. . . to the open vehicle ferries for shorter trips to island closer to the mainland . . .
. . . to the small but mighty passenger ferries that go to islands here no motor vehicles are allowed . . .
. . . except, in this case, were golf carts are allowed.
No reservations needed for these. Just a bit of island time and to make a choice . . .
. . . from the grand . . .
. . . to the tiny . . .
. . . to the picturesque . . .
. . . to the, oh, so inviting (and sometimes verboten!) . . .
And particularly interesting . . .
So, what is your pleasure?
Wineries and cemeteries, lighthouses, ferries and bridges are all great reasons to visit Great Lakes Basin islands.
Of course, we could add many more popular island attractions to the mix, such as migrating and resident birds, fossils washed with each wave onto island beaches, plentiful historic churches, a craft beer brewery or two, exhibitions of the work of artists who frequent the islands, island food, the island community, and island traditions, all in addition to the historical museums we’ve recently considered here.
Enjoy your island time! Just remember, June is the nesting time for all nine Michigan-native species of turtles. Turtles are digging nests and laying eggs on many Great Lakes Basin islands, often on the shoulders of the island roads as well as on beaches. You can learn more about this special time here. Please keep an eye out for these gals!