From Huron to Door County

U.S. 2, from St. Ignace to Rapid River, Michigan, is a beautiful highway.  Paralleling the north shore of Lake Michigan, it offers spectacular views of the lake (often from convenient pull-offs and roadside parks) and passes through scenic woodlands and wetlands.  The towns are clean and inviting and Manistique, about halfway along the journey, entices visitors with a paved path and boardwalk that stretches along the marshy lakeshore.

Turning south along the northwest edge of Lake Michigan, the highway is not as scenic.  Larger cities and private lakeshore properties limit views of the water and only a few county parks provide access to the beaches.  At Green Bay, Wisconsin, we curved eastward to Door County, a long peninsula that juts between the bay and the open waters of Lake Michigan; it is also a component of the Silurian Rim that we have followed from the Bruce Peninsula of Ontario.

Door County is a landscape of rustic farms, orchards and woodlands, many harboring billboard ads for wineries, antique shops, fruit markets and lakeside inns.  The towns offer a mix of upscale shops, restaurants, lodges, galleries and, as one might expect, marinas.  Since our stay was short, we had little opportunity to explore the varied State and County Parks of Door County; however, we did visit (and highly recommend) Cave Point County Park, south of Jacksonport, where waves sculpt the dolomite cliffs, and Whitefish Dunes State Park, just to its south, where trails lead through a scenic and fragile ecosystem.  Later in the day, we had lunch along the river in Milwaukee, which (of course) sits atop the Silurian dolomite that rims the Michigan Basin.