BIG BAY, Mich. (WJMN) — About 30 miles northwest of Marquette sits the community of Big Bay. Although a small town in the Upper Peninsula, its outdoor adventures are anything but small.
“I think Big Bay offers this really strong character. When you’re here, you have this sense of place that is just really special,” said Sven Gonstead, chairman of Big Bay Stewardship Council. “I know it goes throughout the UP, but I don’t know. I’m a little biased. Big Bay just has this magic to it, and it’s this feeling of once you get north of the Yellow Dog (River), you can just leave everything behind.”
Big Bay offers plenty of waterfront access to Lake Independence and Lake Superior. From Burns Landing, the Big Bay Harbor of Refuge, to Perkins Park Campground. You can kayak, swim, or have a picnic by the water. There are also a few options for camping.
“A unique accommodation at Perkins Park Campground is we have a couple of yurts, and it’s a really great experience. We have what we call a Rent-A-Tent in which there are some free-standing glamping places. They’re really cute and fun. We feel like they’re reasonably priced, and if someone wants to come and they don’t have an RV or anything, there are some great accommodations. A great thing about the campground is that you can rent those yurts, and if you’re a biker or a hiker, you’re really close to trails, or you’re really close to town. You can walk up to the Thunder Bay Inn or the Lumberjack. It’s a really central location,” said Gonstead.
One of the must-see spots is the Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook.
“It’s a great ADA-accessible lookout that’s very, very comparable to Sugarloaf and a wonderful view of Lake Superior. It’s really intended to allow people of all ages to be able to get to it, so it’s pretty neat.”
The Powell Township Recreation Area is something new to check out to Big Bay.
“It’s a 400-acre parcel. We have some wonderful hiking trails and mountain biking trails. This is really the pride of Powell Township,” said Gonstead.
With the area being so remote, the Big Bay Stewardship Council is efforting to make Big Bay a year-round destination.
“We have some many places to go and check out, and one thing that the Big Bay Stewardship Council is working on is helping people find these places with signage and mapping, and we’re working on kiosks throughout the area. It’s going to be a wonderful asset once that program is complete. At the core, we’re hoping to make Big Bay a better place for residents, and part of that result would result in a more effective tourism economy up here.”
If you would like to discover more of what Big Bay has to offer, you can visit bigbaystewardship.org.