The carefree days of your youth are alive and well in Alpena. Catching fireflies on warm summer evenings, searching for minnows with a net, reading a book under a shade tree, and watching the sunset while crickets provide background music are nostalgic experiences that we often wish we could relive. Alpena is that place where summer memories come alive as an everyday way of life, and stress floats away with the river current. Visit a downtown coffee shop to catch up on email, or disconnect to reconnect in the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are a gift from prehistoric glacier movement, and treasures have been left behind along the shores of Lake Huron and the many inland lakes and rivers. Hunt for fossils dating back 400 million years to the Devonian Period. Rocky edges along the shorelines, Rockport State Park Recreation Area, and the Lafarge Fossil Park at Besser Museum are perfect locations for an afternoon of prehistoric adventure. Follow it up with a trip to Dinosaur Gardens to see life-size prehistoric recreations.
Use our Adventure Checklist to find your explorer’s spirit: Sanctuary of the Great Lakes Adventure Checklist
Negwegon State Park
GPS: 44.865832, -83.327580
Distance from Alpena: 20 miles South of Alpena on US-23. US-23 S. to Black River Rd. Follow Black River Rd East 1.5 miles, turn North on Sand Hill Rd. and go 2.5 miles, turn East at Negwegon State Park sign and go 1.5 miles to the day use parking area.
On-site facilities: Vault toilet, back-country camping, artesian well. At Negwegon you can transport yourself back in time and hike through the wilds of Michigan, just as rugged and pristine as when the first settlers arrived in Northeast Michigan. Mysterious, remote and undeveloped, Negwegon State Park is a hidden treasure with 10 miles of hiking trails and one of the most beautiful beaches on Lake Huron.
The NEST is a Michigan-DNR multi-use rail-trail that runs 70 miles from Alpena to Cheboygan. The trail has a 10′ wide packed crushed limestone surface and is open to non-motorized users year-round, and snowmobiles from Dec. 1 – March 31. The trail goes through stunningly beautiful Northeastern Michigan fields and forest, crosses a number of water features, and connects to several small villages and points of historical interest. Being a rail trail, the terrain is flat and easily manageable for all levels. The trail head is located on Woodward Ave., in Alpena, just past Northern Lights Arena, and adjacent to the soccer fields. Bathrooms are available at the trailhead.
- Horseback riding
- Dog sled
- Cross-country ski
- Snowmobile (Dec. 1 – March 31)
The Presque Isle Light Station includes three historic buildings. The light tower, which connects to a keeper’s dwelling, was built in 1870 and is the tallest lighthouse tower accessible by the public on the Great Lakes. An unattached keeper’s residence, constructed in 1905, has been painstakingly restored and now serves as a museum. The buildings are situated on a 99-acre township park featuring a playground, picnic area, pavilion and nature trails. The park is open to the public from mid-May to mid-October. A gift shop is located in the original keeper’s quarters. Visitors, for a nominal fee, may also climb the 130 steps to the top of the tower for a breathtaking view. The buildings and grounds are open mid-May through mid-October, from 9am until 6pm, daily. The 1905 House is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 11am to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday; 1pm to 5pm Sunday; closed Mondays. For more information, visit the township web site at http://www.presqueisletownship.org or call (989) 595-5419.
Northern Lights Arena is the only facility in Northeast Michigan to provides two first class, official NHL sized ice rinks within one building. Our state of the art primary rink provides seating for 1,200, an in-rink concession stand, six large, full service private locker rooms and an 1/8 mile rubberized running track.
Come experience a multitude of entertainment options, including, but not limited to; touring comedy acts, spine tingling rodeos, big circuit wrestling and womans roller derby. Spend some time visiting with high end dealers at one of our exclusive camping, trailer or boating expositions.
Northern Lights Arena is proudly the home for many local user groups, including a variety of hockey, figure skating and speed skating organizations. Please feel free to visit our Users Group Page to learn more. You just may find a great opportunity to join in and have fun!
Norway Ridge Pathway offers multiple trail loops with easy to follow trail markers. 10-miles of total trails roll through soft forgiving ridges. Take the family for a hike, or take your bike to test the single-track. The trails are groomed by Thunder Bay Trails Association. Cross-country ski trails are groomed throughout the winter.
- Bird Watching
- Horseback Riding
- Cross-country Ski (trails groomed as snowfall permits)