Walk with dinosaurs, sail through a Great Lakes storm, paddle in a kayak, or snowshoe the backcountry. Whatever the season, there are always things to see and do in the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes.
Alpena’s newest fitness club is dedicated to improving health and inspiring life. Located in Alpena Regional Medical Center’s new HealthPlex, Bay Athletic Club (BAC), offers group exercise classes, Women’s Express (30-minute circuit), personal training, massage therapy and more! BAC also offers member day care services and the Sunprint Café – their own juice and coffee bar. For more information, call or visit web site.
Bay View Park offers a variety of options for the whole family. An open field is perfect for a game of flag football or kite flying. The Band Shell is host to numerous outdoor concerts and movies in the summer season. The park includes tennis courts, basketball courts, children’s playground, boat harbor and breakwall walkway, and Lake Huron shore is lined with limestone boulders. The park is located along the paved Bi-Path trail which encompasses the city. Indoor restrooms are nearby. The park is within walking distance of the downtown district which offers shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Northeast Michigan’s Center for Art, History, and Science.
ART: The Museum has an extensive collection of art that cannot be found any where else in Northeast Michigan, with works of art from Michigan artists such as Tom Moran to world renowned artists like Cezanne, Renoir, Dali, Picasso and Chihuly.
HISTORY: Dig for Devonian fossils in the Lafarge Fossil Park and keep all the fossils you find. Stroll through the Museum’s replica of an 1890’s Avenue of Shops. Explore the lumbering and farming history of Northeast Michigan. Visit the Peoples of Lakes and Forest Gallery, which houses a variety of Prehistoric and Native American artifacts unique to this region. Take time to explore the historic buildings on the Museum’s campus.
Science: See the Foucault Pendulum which gives visual proof the the Earth is rotating while demonstrating Newton’s Law of Motion. The only Planetarium in Northeast Michigan, the Besser Museum Sky Theater, is open every Saturday at 2 p.m. Visit and Shop the Museum Gift Store.
HOURS: Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ADMISSION: Adults $5.00, Senior & Child $3.00.
Besser Natural Area & Ghost Village of Bell
Located just 14 miles north of Alpena. Take US-23 North to East Grand Lake Road. Turn Right onto Besser Bell Road. Look for DNR signs.
This serene one-mile foot trail leads through an area formerly inhabited by the people of the Village of Bell. Some remains of buildings, a virgin stand of white pine trees, a lagoon and beautiful beach. The shipwreck, Portland, lies just off the coast to the north near Bell Bay.
Blair Street Park offers a quiet respite on the Lake Huron shore. The park offers a grassy picnic area, sandy swimming beach, and wooden boardwalk pier extending into the water. The park is a great place to spend a relaxing afternoon, or reflect as the sun rises over Lake Huron in the morning. Also a prime spot for bird watching.
Brush Creek Mill was constructed on a site where previous mills once stood. Built on the banks of the Thunder Bay River, it was named for Brush Creek, which meets the river, flowing from Atlanta to Alpena. The mill demonstrates the power of moving water with a 22’ stainless steel water wheel, capable of grinding corn and wheat. The mill features a museum, meeting room/classroom and gift store featuring handmade crafts made by local artists and crafters. A wide variety of classes are offered including jewelry making, acrylic painting, fly tying, computer classes and more. The mill is open Memorial Day through mid-October. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am – 3 pm and Sundays noon until 3 pm. Closed on Mondays. Tours are available for groups.
GPS: 45.18231, -83.71981, near the corner of Leer Rd. and Maple Lane Rd., approx. 20 minutes from Alpena
The 2.5-acre Bruski Sink is located off Leer Rd near the intersection of Maple Lane Rd. Carefully walk the southern edge of Bruski Sink. This sink was used as an unauthorized dumpsite (as many sinkholes were in previous decades) prior to 1999 when it’s clean up began. A 75 ft. crane donated by Moran Iron Works lowered dumpsters into this sink to facilitate the removal of cars, refrigerators, rusting containers of motor oil, and rusting farm machinery from the sides and bottom. This sink increased in depth from 85 ft. to 115 ft. after the removal of the debris during a nine year cleanup process. The debris removal reduced the risk of further underground water contamination and allows visitors a more visual perspective of the width and depth of this sink.
More information is available at the Alpena Visitor Welcome Center located at 420 N. Second Ave., Alpena, MI 49707