Paradise is a small town in Chippewa County, Michigan, on the northeastern part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. Paradise is surrounded by parks and forests and a great starting point for visiting the Tahquamenon Falls area and Tahquamenon Falls State Park. The area is popular with hunters, fishermen, campers, hikers, snowmobilers and birdwatchers. Paradise celebrates a popular blueberry festival every summer. The shipping lanes on Lake Superior are a few miles off shore. Paradise is the main access point to Whitefish Point, a world migratory route that runs through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. The birds are observed and studied by the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory. Near Paradise is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum located in the Whitefish Point Lighthouse. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Tahquamenon Falls State Park
2.Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
3.Whitefish Point Lighthouse
5.White Point Bird Observatory
5 Best Things to Do in Paradise, MI
- Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Photo: Adam JonesDanita Delimont/stock.adobe.com
- Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Photo: ehrlif/stock.adobe.com
- Whitefish Point Lighthouse, Photo: UbjsP/stock.adobe.com
- Tahquamenon Falls, Photo: SNEHIT/stock.adobe.com
- White Point Bird Observatory, Photo: flowertiare/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Nick/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas in Michigan: Headlands International Dark Sky Park
Located in Mackinaw City, Michigan, Headlands International Dark Sky Park is a 550-acre woodland park offering public visitor trails and programming offered in conjunction with the International Dark Sky Park program. The park area that is now Headlands International Dark Sky Park was established in the 1950s by area resident Roger McCormick and encompasses approximately 550 acres for undeveloped woodlands along a 2.5-mile stretch of the Lake Michigan shoreline.
As an undeveloped natural refuge, the park is a habitat for a number of rare and endangered species of plants and animals, including bald eagles, white-tail deer, coyotes, osprey, and black bears. The park, which was formerly held as private property by McCormick, was converted in a public wildlife refuge space by the McCormick Foundation, the Village of Mackinaw City, the Little Traverse Conservancy, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
In 2011, the park was designated as one of the first 10 International Dark Sky Parks by Tuscon, Arizona’s International Dark Sky Association. More than 60 international parks, reserves, and community regions are designated by the association, preserving and protecting natural wildlife and land areas from artificial light and urban light pollution. Other parks designated as International Dark Sky Parks include Utah’s Natural Bridges National Monument, the first facility to receive the designation in 2007, and the Czech Republic’s Izera Dark-Sky Park, the first European park to receive the designation. International Dark Sky Reserves are also designated by the organization, including Michigan’s Lake Hudson State Recreation Area and southern Ontario’s Torrance Barrens.
Today, Headlands International Dark Sky Park encompasses a 550-acre tract of land along the shores of Lake Michigan and is operated as a public park facility offering dark-sky viewing opportunities and outdoor visitor activities. Though several nearby state parks are designated as Dark Sky Preserves, the Headlands park remains the only designated Dark Sky Park in the state of Michigan and has been named as the IDA’s International Dark Sky Place of the Year. In order to allow dark-sky views, the Headlands is open to the public 24 hours a day at no visitor admission charge.
A variety of outdoor activities are provided at Headlands, including five miles of visitor trails throughout the park’s old-growth forest network. Trails include the Frog Pond Trail, which travels along McCormick Pond, and the Overlook Trail, which ascends a rock bluff overlooking the waters of Lake Michigan. A mile-long Dark Sky Discovery Trail is also provided along the park’s main entrance drive. The trail, constructed in 2012 through a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, features informational stations detailing each of the planets within the solar system and providing cultural information on humanity’s relationship with astronomy and the night sky, with a particular focus on indigenous astronomical discoveries and cultural uses of astronomy. A cell phone audio tour is accessible via QR code, providing additional information on trail exhibits.
In addition to exploration on foot, visitors may use the park’s trails and public areas for seasonal bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Nature photography is permitted at various sites throughout the park, and shoreline viewing areas are offered throughout the park’s 2.5-mile Lake Michigan shoreline area. Nighttime dark-sky viewing is encouraged, with areas offering views of the circumpolar Ursa Major and Minor, Draco, Cassiopeia, and Cepheus constellations. Major meteor showers, solar and lunar eclipses, and Aurora Borealis events are also viewable from the park.
As visitors are encouraged to actively explore the park during nighttime hours, no camping facilities are located within the park, though visitor sleeping bags, lawn chairs, and blankets are permitted. Flashlight use within the park is restricted to red-filtered flashlights to protect wildlife and limit light pollution. Observance of the park’s natural quiet is also enforced. Two facilities within the park are available for overnight visitor rental, including a Guest House at the Waterfront Event Center and Observatory which sleeps 22 guests and a four-person apartment at the nearby historic McGulpin Lighthouse facility. Several nearby campsites are recommended by the facility, including the KOA Campground, Mackinaw Mill Creek Camping, and the facilities of nearby Wilderness State Park.
Ongoing Programs and Events
Public International Dark Sky programming is offered at Headlands on an ongoing basis throughout the year, including astrophotography lectures and workshops, celestial nights, special moon and meteor shower event viewings, and seasonal snowshoeing hikes. Public programming is also held periodically at the facility’s Waterfront Event Center, including astronomical observatory programming. The Waterfront Event Center may be rented for private special events, including use of the building’s fully-licensed kitchen and Guest House facilities. Seating capacity within the facility totals 120 participants inside the building and 80 outside on its covered patio.
15675 Headlands Rd, Mackinaw City, MI 49701, Phone: 231-348-1713
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More Ideas in Michigan: Forest Dunes Golf Club
The United States has some of the finest golf courses anywhere in the world, with the nation’s diverse array of beautiful landscapes providing the perfect scenic backgrounds for courses of all shapes and sizes. No matter where you happen to be, all across America, you’re never too far from a world class golf course, and the little Michigan village of Roscommon plays host to one of the nation's finest: Forest Dunes.
Forest Dunes Golf Club - Top Golf in Michigan
Famed for its original 2002 course, designed by Tom Weiskopf, as well as the 2016 addition of Tom Doak's 'The Loop' - one of the most innovative golf course ideas in recent decades - Forest Dunes Golf Club is an idyllic setting to enjoy no less than 54 unique holes of golf. It's one of the best golf courses in the Midwest and the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a memorable golfing trip with a partner, colleagues, friends, or family.
- The Main Course - The original Forest Dunes Golf Course was designed by Tom Weiskopf at the turn of the millennium and opened up in 2002. With a par of 72, the Forest Dunes Golf Course is spread out across 500 acres of gorgeous, wooded land in the center of the Huron National Forest. It's one of the most peaceful, pure, and natural golf courses in the Midwest, offering an experience like no other, providing just the right degree of challenge to be enjoyed and appreciated by golfers of various experience levels and abilities. It comes with a unique array of intriguing challenges, including native dunes, rough sandy spaces, water features, and the many old pines and other hardwoods of the forest itself.
- The Loop - The golfing world at large took notice when Forest Dunes announced, back in 2014, that a new course was being added to its club, designed by Tom Doak. And this wasn’t just any course. The Loop is a novel concept: a course that can be played in both directions, essentially turning 18 holes into 36, while using up the same amount of land and space. Each hole becomes different when played in reverse, allowing golfers to follow the ‘Black’ or ‘Red’ route in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, respectively, and then go back on themselves. The Red is a little more traditional and approachable, while still holding its own distinct challenges, while the Black is perfect for those who really want to test their skills, with a tricky opening few holes in particular.
- Dining at Forest Dunes - After a round or two out on the course to work up an appetite, there's no better option than heading over to Forest Dunes' on-site restaurant: Sangomore's. One of the finest restaurants in Michigan, Sangomore's at Forest Dunes provides a beautiful, elegant, rustic lodge setting, with wooden floors, tall windows, high ceiling, and gorgeous chandeliers hovering overhead, as well as a bar space with two huge TVs for keeping up with key sporting events. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served at Sangomore's, and you can also rent out the private Durant's Room dining space, just off the main dining area, for events with up to 24 people.
- Lake AuSable Lodge - Those wishing to spend a little extra time at Forest Dunes Golf Club, one of Michigan's premier golf destinations, may like to reserve a room at the Lake AuSable Lodge. Situated merely 35 yeards from the course and less than a minute from the clubhouse, the Lake AuSable Lodge features 11 standard rooms and a pair of deluxe suites. Inspired by the Adirondack style of design and architecture, the lodge features a lot of hardwoods on the inside, nestled behind a strong, stone exterior. The rooms are ideal for couples and friends, while the suites can accommodate groups of up to four and feature their own private balconies and fully equipped kitchens.
- Villas and Cottages - The Lake AuSable Lodge has plenty of space for all your lodging needs, but if you're looking for even more elegance, luxury, and comfort, you may want to choose to stay in one of Forest Dunes Golf Club's private villas or cottages. Examples include Eagles Nest Cottage and Outlook Point Cottage, which can both sleep up to eight guests and are nestled out beside the Forest Dunes Golf Course fairway. The villas and cottages offer plenty of space and all the comforts of home. Eagles Nest, for instance, offers four bedrooms, four bathrooms, eight queen beds, a card room with a view of the course, an open kitchen and dining space, private patio areas, and more.
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