Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Great Lakes offer great vacation hideaways

  • Print
THE shores of the Great Lakes are as varied as the continent itself, from the wild, open spaces north of Superior to the cityscapes of Chicago and Toronto.

American author Jerry Dennis has been exploring these shores for years.

For his new book, The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas (St. Martin's Press), Dennis crewed for four weeks on a tall-masted schooner, sailing from Lake Michigan through the length of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

His book examines the geography, history and ecology of the world's motherlode of freshwater, and relates the adventures of his voyage. In an interview from his home in Traverse City, Mich., Dennis shared some of his favourite travel destinations on the five lakes.

"In Lake Superior, there are a few places I always go back to," says Dennis, naming Isle Royale National Park, an archipelago on the U.S. side of the border, just south of Thunder Bay, Ont; Canada's Pukaskwa National Park, near Wawa, Ont.; and the Keweenaw Peninsula, which juts into the big lake from northern Michigan.

"Isle Royale is really wild," he says of the park with no roads, 36 backcountry campsites, one lodge, 900 moose and access only by water. "It's a great place to hike and canoe.

"Pukaskwa has towering cliffs that are just breathtaking. And, on the Keweenaw Peninsula, there's lots of solitude, enormous remote beaches, and a string of villages that are a lot like some of the fishing villages I've been to in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick."

Dennis lives on Lake Michigan, not far from Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. "It's one of the largest and most extensive networks of freshwater dunes in the world," he says. "Great beaches."

Near the northern tip of Lake Michigan is Beaver Island, most famous as the site where, in the mid-1800s, a renegade Mormon named James Strang established a colony of followers, declared it an independent realm, took several wives, and named himself king. His reign ended 1856 when he was assassinated by a couple of displeased subjects.

"Beaver Island is a still a big secret as a destination," says Dennis. "It has lodging, terrific restaurants and a great Irish pub" -- the Shamrock.

The biggest city on the lakes, Chicago, is also the best in terms of preserving and cherishing its waterfront. "Today, along Lake Shore Drive ... are 15 miles of nearly continuous parks and public beaches, ball fields, tennis courts, golf courses and marinas, all linked by jogging and biking trails," Dennis writes.

"Some of Chicago's finest attractions -- Alder Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier -- are more interesting for being at the edge of the lake."

On Lake Huron, Dennis is partial to Drummond Island, Mich., near Sault Ste. Marie -- "It's a quiet place, not promoted much, but has a couple of elegant resorts" -- and Ontario's Killarney Provincial Park.

In Lake Erie, Dennis recommends the walleye fishing between Toledo and Sandusky, Ohio, "but the place I found most interesting is Long Point (Ont.). It's rich with history -- tales of rum smugglers during Prohibition."

Dennis says he hasn't spent much time on the shores of Lake Ontario. "But I liked what I saw of the Thousand Islands. It's a place I would like to go back to."

-- Canadian Press

PHOTO

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bombers This Week: Huge game against Lions

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Geese fly in the morning light over Selkirk Ave Wednesday morning- Day 22– June 13, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What should the legal drinking age be?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google