With Alpena as your base camp, there are endless day trip opportunities to explore art, culture, history, heritage, and outdoor recreation. Presque Isle is a favorite location for vacation home owners, history buffs, and fans of everything summertime.
Presque Isle County Michigan’s Top Adventures
Old Presque Isle Lighthouse
The Old Presque Isle Lighthouse is one of the oldest accessible lighthouses on the Great Lakes.
Built in 1840, it is believed to be haunted by a friendly ghost named George, who was a former lighthouse keeper. The keeper’s dwelling serves as a hands-on museum. Here, visitors can blow fog horns and examine artifacts. The building and park grounds are open to the public mid-May through mid-October.
New Presque Isle Lighthouse
The New Presque Isle Lighthouse was built in 1870 and is the tallest accessible lighthouse on the Great Lakes. An unattached, fully-restored keeper’s residence, constructed in 1905, serves as a museum. Buildings are situated on a 99-acre township park featuring a playground, picnic area, pavilion, and trails. The lighthouse and grounds are open from mid-May to mid-October.
Besser Natural Area
At the north end of Rockport State Recreation Area, a serene one-mile foot trail leads through Besser Natural 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 sandy beach beacon for adventure. The shipwreck, Portland, lies just off the coast to the north near Bell Bay.
Grand Lake is a 5,660-acre lake that is perfect for fishing, boating, swimming, and other
water sports. This beautiful lake is located in Presque Isle and only a few miles away from the Presque Isle Lighthouses. Home to thirteen islands, you can’t beat watching a beautiful sunset, while gathered around a campfire with friends and family. Paddling the Grand Lake outlet is also a fun adventure.
This 275-acre inland lake is perfect for swimming and fishing. With its shallow waters, it is the best spot if you are looking for a lake just to relax and enjoy a quiet up north vacation. Lake Esau is only a few miles away from the Presque Isle Lighthouses and Lake Huron.
Thompson’s Harbor State Park
Primitive marked hiking trails weave through Thompson’s Harbor State Park’s varying terrain. Second growth forest with more than 7 miles of Lake Huron Shoreline of limestone cobble beaches, and deep sand dunes await your adventures. The park is home to Michigan’s state wildflower, the Dwarf Lake Iris, which is under special protection. Thompson’s Harbor is also one of three Dark Sky Parks in the area.
Ocqueoc Falls & Bicentennial Pathway
Ocqueoc is the name of a beautiful River, between Rogers City and Onaway, northwest of Alpena proper. Ocqueoc Falls & Bicentennial Pathway is a hidden gem containing the largest falls in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Ocqueoc Falls is also the first truly universally accessible waterfall in the nation. You can soak your feet, swim, and splash in the cool waters on a hot summer day.
Knaebe’s Mmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm & Twisted Roots Cider
Looking for a fun fall activity? Stop by Knaebe’s Mmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm and Twisted Roots Cider. This is a “must-do” autumn activity that the entire family will love. You can easily spend an entire afternoon here. Try out one of Knaebe’s wood fired pizzas, while tasting some hard cider. For dessert, make sure to indulge on the famous homemade donuts. Adventure through the woods in a horse drawn wagon ride, take a walk through the corn maze, and make sure to see the animals at the petting zoo, and don’t forget to try your hand at the Mac-in-Squasher slingshot. You won’t want to miss out on a beautiful fall day at Knaebe’s! Only open late August through early November, Thursday through Sunday.
40 Mile Point Lighthouse
Located in Rogers City, the 40-mile Point Lighthouse is 40 miles sailing distance from Mackinaw Point. Follow “Shipwreck Trail” to see what’s left of the Joseph S. Fay, one of the 27 wooden ships that sank during a fierce storm in 1905. About 150’ of her side is resting on a beach near the lighthouse. Other features include a picnic area, beach, and hiking trails.
The village of Posen is home to the annual Posen Potato Festival, a heritage celebration rooted in Polish culture. Enjoy the festival parade, potato pancakes, and polka dancing to live Polka music in the Polka Barn. The festival is held in September.