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
Unique lagoon and barrier wetland on the shore of Lake Huron’s Thunder Bay. Walk over 1/4 mile of boardwalks that will take you out into this fresh water coastal marsh. Observe a variety of wetland creatures from three separate observation decks, each providing its own special view. Depending upon the season, migrating birds, wetland animals and a variety of plant life may be seen. An educational resource library and classroom are available for individuals, families and groups. A very knowledgeable staff is available by appointment to explain and guide you on your tour. The facility is now fenced and gated due to security, but tours are available (usually within 24 hours) May 1 through October 31. Admission is $1.00 adults, children under 12 free.