"Home of Paul Bunyan" Manistique by atufft

Manistique Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 51 photos

Town Near the Uppermost Part of Lake Michigan

The Michigan Upper Peninsula, or UP, as locals call it, is a world apart from Detroit. South of UP are Lake Michigan, and part of Lake Huron on the east side of the Mackinac Bridge. Manistique is quite near the uppermost part of Lake Michigan, so a stready wind blows from the south across a long expanse of water, where the southern end is Gary, IN and Chicago, IL. Located at the junction of US 2 and MI 94, the town is also close to the one of the shortest land routes between Lake Michigan in the south and Lake Superior in the north, band of forested region dominated by the Hiawatha National Forest. The town is named after the Manistique River which flows into Lake Michigan, forming part of a naturally protected harbor but the port has been further protected with improved with breakwater and light house with fog horn. Wikipedia reports that originally the river and town were called Monistique, but a spellng error in the city charter changed it to the current spelling. The origins of the name appear to be Indian with French influence.

Home of Paul Bunyan

Manistique, also known as Epsport, was founded primarily as a lumber town. Today, it remains that way with a paper mill located right on the river. The legend of Paul Bunyan, the largest and strongest lumberjack that ever lived, has it's roots in Schoolcraft County, where Manistique is the only incorporated town. There is a carved wooden statue of Paul Bunyan at the Chamber of Commerce right on US 2.

Downtown Manistique

The attraction to this part of Michigan is largely natural, so the best shopping in downtown Manistique is at the Sports Shop on Cedar Street--although there is the Ben Franklin and a few fledging antique shops. On the western side of the river along MI94 before leaving town, there are the newer corporate style fast food restaurants and businesses.

  • Last visit to Manistique: Aug 2013
  • Intro Updated Aug 26, 2013
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