Beaver Island in the News

On November 10, 2010 · 4 Comments

There’s an interesting human interest story about Beaver Island, Michigan making the rounds via the Associated Press, "Technology a blessing, a curse for remote island." I mention it both because it’s an interesting narrative and because I’m one of very few people who’ve actually visited Beaver Island. If you care to know more about that journey you can stop by my permanent travel site.

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Most of you probably already know about Beaver Island because you’re map aficionados. It’s the largest island in Lake Michigan but it’s not the easiest place to reach. People generally get back-and-forth using a ferry that takes about two hours. There is also limited air service.

If the general public knows anything about islands within the state of Michigan, which in itself is doubtful, they’d probably think of Mackinac. Beaver Island is the anti-Mackinac. It’s 180° diametrically opposed to anything even resembling Mackinac; it’s a pristine tourist-free zone. When I visited, the natural tendency of residents was to say to me, "please, please don’t tell anybody that this place exists." Eh, I’m not so worried about mentioning it on the Twelve Mile Circle though. It’s only us geo-geeks here.

You don’t read about Beaver Island in the tourist magazines. There aren’t really any amenities an average tourist would enjoy other than the natural beauty of the island itself. I thought the island-on-an-island was particularly interesting but would that resonate with anyone else? In other words, I loved it.

I went because I saw the dotted line of a ferry extending from mainland Michigan and decided I needed to take a ride. What can I say?: I have an odd affinity for ferry rides. Fortunately the destination proved as remarkable as the journey.

First Tangier Island and now Beaver Island. My favorite island escapes are being exposed by the mainstream media!

PS – don’t get too used to me posting an article every day. There’s been a lot of quality weirdness going on this week.

On November 10, 2010 · 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Beaver Island in the News”

  1. Matt says:

    Reminds me of Pelee Island in Lake Erie — kind of the opposite of the party island of South Bass or the comparatively busy Kelleys Island. Pelee Island is the home of the smallest international airport with regularly scheduled flights (to Sandusky, Ohio) I’ve ever seen.

  2. Greg says:

    Yeah, I was reminded of North Bass Island, but Pelee is a better parallel.

  3. Craig says:

    Actually, when I think of Beaver Island, I think of James J. Strang, who led a large offshoot Mormon sect up there and proclaimed himself king — albeit probably over his Mormon sect and not Beaver Island or the US as is commonly reported. The Smithsonian had a nice article (“America’s Only King Made Beaver Island His Promised Land,” Smithsonian Magazine, August 1995) about him and his island kingdom.

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