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Alpena’s Bucket List: The New Year’s Resolution Edition

Posted on December 29th, 2015

A snowy journey to the new Presque Isle light; photo courtesy of Sandy Blumenthal

The new year is coming and it is almost time to make 2016 your “best year yet”! Whether you are a local or a tourist, a bucket list is a great way to explore your own backyard and Michigan treasures. As the official Sanctuary of the Great Lakes, Alpena is particularly full of treasures; you just need to know where to look! So if you are in Alpena all year round, or just for a short time, here is the 2016 bucket list for you:

Snowy winter:

  • Go snowshoeing through Norway Ridge Trails.
  • Try out winter camping; make sure you have the proper gear!
  • Grab a friend and go cross country skiing through the N.E.S.T trails.
  • Take biking to the next level with fat tire biking through the trails at Rockport State Recreation Area.
  • Bundle up and go ice fishing on Grand Lake, Long Lake, or Hubbard Lake.
  • Go ice skating at Northern Lights Arena.
  • Not into the cold weather? Check out the Maritime Heritage Museum inside of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary or the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan to learn more about our Sanctuary of the Great Lakes!

Blossoming spring:

  • about-alpena

    Kayaking through the Thunder Bay River on a beautiful day.

    Spring ride or walk through the Besser Natural Area. For a real adventure, take a bike ride through Chippewa Hills Pathway!

  • Go kayaking in the Thunder Bay River.
  • Eat local. Start shopping at the Farmer’s market every Saturday morning.
  • See a spring theatrical performance at one of our two live theaters.
  • Watch the sun rise over Lake Huron from the Blair St. Pier.
  • Take a walk over the newly constructed covered bridge which connects the Duck Park to Island Park. Stroll through the groomed trails of Island Park and watch as nature comes back to life.

Sunny summer:

  • What’s SUP? Try out stand up paddle boarding in the Bay of Mich-e-ki-wis.
  • Build a sandcastle at Starlite Beach.
  • Join a slow ride (organized group pedal bike riding through the town).
  • Watch an outdoor movie by the bay.
  • Attend a concert in the park.
  • Take a glass bottom boat ride.
  • Dive a shipwreck!
  • Go on a day to night adventure at Rockport State Recreation Area; fossil hunting by day, star gazing by night.

Blustery autumn:


Autumn gives us the gift of colors, a vast array of reds, oranges, and yellows sweep the sky line.

  • Take a walk through fall foliage.
  • Go for a color drive! One of the best routes for fall colors is in Presque Isle on the way to the old and new lighthouses.
  • Give thanks.
  • Help out a local charity.
  • Pick an event off Alpena’s calendar of events; there is so much to choose from during the fall season!
  • Watch the sun set over the Thunder Bay River.
  • Climb the old and new lighthouses of Presque Isle.

There is something for everyone, for every season in the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes. Start your Alpena bucket list January 1st, for an adventurous new year!

For a complete list of adventures, print out our Adventure Checklist here.

For the calendar of events, go to and stay tuned for updates!

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