Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in St. Ignace, Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a wonderful place to explore the great outdoors, and as the gateway to the UP, St. Ignace is the perfect first stop! No matter how you like to experience open skies, the Top 10 Outdoor Adventures in St. Ignace will have you covered.

As St. Ignace is located right on the Straits of Mackinac, it’s no wonder that swimming is the first on the list. A local favorite is the Sand Dune Beach, a 6-mile stretch of beautiful, sandy beaches that’s also great for sun-bathing, and, of course, building sand castles. Take a dip a bit closer to the city at American Legion Memorial Park, a quarter-mile long beach next covered pavilion picnic tables and grills, or at Kiwanis Beach, which has a sandy beach with shallow waters perfect for young ones.

If views of the gorgeous Great Lakes on the Straits of Mackinac from above sounds appealing, then check out Mackinac Parasailing. You can take a smooth, safe, and dry parasail flight from a custom-made boat and create memories that will last a lifetime.

St. Ignace is home to scenic, serene hikes through nature and along bodies of water from the Great Lakes to forested ponds. The Hiawatha National Forest is home to many trails, such as the 10 mile Sand Dunes Trail on which you can see many rare and endangered dune species. When it starts to get dark, the dunes are simply stunning against the setting sun or moon.

Another path network is the North Country National Scenic Trail that crosses Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Hiawatha National Forest, and the mouth of the Two-Hearted River (yes, that Two-Hearted). You can find old logging camps, remains of ancient Indian settlements, and cool geological features, like karsts and the Niagara Escarpment. Plus, you’ll have access to hundreds of inland lakes and hundreds of miles of streams which are great for birders and photographers!

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Due its location at the tip of the southern Upper Peninsula, St. Ignace is a migratory stopover site and significant nesting area for over 275 bird species. The forested shoreline and peninsulas provide landing and launching habitat for birds crossing over the straits in the spring and fall! See everything from Warblers & Tanagers to Scoter’s & Red-necked Grebe. Check out the St. Ignace birding guide here!

Both experts and beginners at Disc Golf will love Silver Mountain. Bring your own discs to play at one of the top 10 courses in Michigan. Pick up a map and a score sheet on hole one at this secluded course that features nice mix of tight shots and long throws from a variety of elevations throughout.

In addition to its great hiking trails, Hiawatha National Forest also has a wide variety of mountain biking opportunities, such as the path parallel to the Whitefish River and the Mountain Bike Trail, a 26 mile adventure through northern hardwoods forest.

Just a short ferry ride away, Mackinac Island is the ideal place to bike, because you won’t have to share the thoroughfares with anything but horses! With a circumference of just 8.2 miles, you can literally bike anywhere – through downtown, along the island lakefront, and trails.

From St. Ignace, you can fish for weeks. From the fishing platforms at Wawatam Lighthouse and Chief Wawatam Park on the Great Lakes, you go for bass (small and large mouth), pike, muskellunge, and other freshwater species. Some of the best salmon fishing is found here as well. There’s plenty of area waters, too, such as Brevort Lake, Pine River, Carp River. Also, on Carp River, you can try Fly Fishing summer and through Fall.

Take a Fishing Charter to fish in calm waters within view of Mackinac Island and Mackinac Bridge. Starting in May, you’ll encounter King Salmon, Lake Trout, & Steelhead, with Atlantic Salmon in the waters until July.

Visitors Guide

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St. Ignace

With over 2,000 miles of Hiawatha National Forest roads open for motorized use, you’re sure to have a blast. Traverse paths from simple trails to bumpy, fun challenges in secluded forests. It’s also an ideal place to snowmobile in the winter. For rentals, check the Voyager Inn and be sure to check out the map before you go!

For a bit of Up North Golfing, head to St. Ignace Golf and Country Club with its spectacular views of the Mackinac Bridge. The 9-hole golf course Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club Golf Course is a hidden gem worth checking out, and the Mackinaw Golf Club has a beautiful, professionally designed 18-hole course also worth a round.

The waters connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan offer a host of opportunities for sailing, fishing, cruising and paddling. The St. Ignace Marina offers a 136-slip state-of-the-art dock, capable of accommodating yachts up to 150 feet in length. You can bring your own vessel or explore rentals.

Try paddling on the Seney Wildlife Refuge, west of the Mackinac Bridge, for a great place view wildlife while on the water. The inland lakes at Brevort and the Les Cheneaux Islands are fantastic options as well.

St. Ignace is awash with outdoor adventures! Feel free to request a visitor guide, sign-up for our newsletter, and book your stay today!