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Hidden Gems in St. Ignace, Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Explore the wonders of St. Ignace that only some locals know, such as trails, restaurants, the less-known, wildlife attractions, and more. Learn all about the hidden gems in the Upper Peninsula city of St. Ignace, Michigan!

1. St. Ignace to Trout Lake Trail

St. Ignace to Trout Lake Trail
If you’re looking to get away from it all and revitalize in nature, this picturesque, often very remote trail that follows an abandoned rail corridor from St. Ignace to Trout Lake is perfect. You can hike through beautiful woodlands, wetlands, and open green spaces in Hiawatha National Forest that’s also perfect for ATVs and snowmobiles.

 

2. Clyde’s Drive-In

St. Ignace Clyde's Drive-In
Take a trip back in time! Clyde’s is an old-fashioned drive-in with classic American diner fare fresh off the grill. You can sit at the counter and watch the cooks hard at work while drinking an ice-cold milkshake. If you’re really in the 50s mood, pair your trip to Clyde’s with Gateway Bowling, a classic 50s-style bowling alley (jukebox on-site!).

 

3. Local Sand Dune Spot

St. Ignace Sand Dunes
These 6 miles of beautiful, sandy beaches are such a hidden gem they don’t even have a name. The sand dunes are located shores of Lake Michigan in the Hiawatha National Forest and have lifesaving stations located on the main stretch. Be sure to check out this stunning view of Lake Michigan.

 

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4. Castle Rock

St. Ignace Castle Rock
Known as “Pontiac's Lookout" by the Ojibwa Tribe, you can climb the craggy Castle Rock and see up to 20 miles of the surrounding, beautiful area, such as Mackinac Island on Lake Huron and historic St. Ignace. There’s even a gift shop for souvenirs, with birch bark ceiling and walls hand crafted by local Native Americans in the early 1950s!

 

5. Mystery Spot

St. Ignace Mystery Spot
It makes sense that Mystery Spot was voted Michigan's No.1 unusual attraction by readers of Michigan Living Magazine, as the wild optical contradictions and strange physical sensations are pretty hard to believe. You’ll love sharing these with friends and families on Instagram – be sure to tag us @SaintIgnaceVisitorsBureau!

 

6. GarLyn Zoo Wildlife Park

St. Ignace Garlyn Zoo
This intimate, family-run zoo allows you to experience live animals up close! GarLyn Zoo is home to hundreds of native North American animals like Alligators, Cougars, River Otters, and Porcupines to name a few. The whole family can also see exotic animals from around the world: from African Lions to Siberian Tigers, from Grizzly Bears to Ring-tailed Lemurs! Learn about all the animals here.

 

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7. Awesome Ice Cream

St. Ignace Double Decker Ice Cream
You’ll definitely want a sweet treat while you’re in town, and Molly Moo’s Ice Cream Parlor has great ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, sundaes, and fudge that you can enjoy with view of Lake Huron. For something a bit different, order your kid’s favorite cone from a converted Double Decker Bus from the UK!

 

8. Totem Village

St. Ignace Totem Village
This is no ordinary gift shop. At Totem Village, you can purchase actual, authentic American Indian arts and crafts such as textiles, lotions, dream catchers, pipes, beads, and more. Wait, there’s more: hand-forged items by a local blacksmith and horseback riding lessons! Totem Village is definitely not your run-of-the-mill souvenir store.

 

9. Ignace Museum of Ojibwa Culture

St. Ignace Museum of Ojibwa Culture
The Museum of Ojibwa Culture & Gift Shop sits on ground that is one of the oldest native gathering sites in the western US. You can uncover the rich story of when the Ojibwa, Huron, and French lifestyles first met in the protected bay of Saint Ignace over 300 years ago. It also features an amazing animal clan park, outdoor native sculptures, spiritual plant gardens and a realistic long house.

 

10. Wildlife Ranches

Oswald's Bear Ranch
At Oswald’s Bear Ranch, you can see 29 impressive bears in 4 habitats. Be sure to get your picture taken with adorable bear cubs, too! While you’re in St. Ignace, also check out the Deer Ranch, the oldest live whitetail exhibit in North America. It’s home to native Michigan Whitetail Deer and fawns including white deer that you can photograph and feed while walking along a nature trail.

 

St. Ignace is filled with both cool attractions and quaint, historical sites! Feel free to request a visitor guide, sign-up for our newsletter, and book your stay today!

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