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Posted: 2/13/2006 4:29:31 PM EDT
Hey everyone.

This friday at noon I will be leaving with a group of my friends from Cleveland to travel to Marquette (i'm assuming you know that its in the upper peninsula). Should take about 11 hours.

Is there anything I should be aware of for the trip? I heard if the Mackinaw (sp?) bridge is closed due to high winds, etc. there is a ferry to take?

I'm assuming that takes a long time.

Is there bad construction anywhere, a good way to miss Detroits rush hour traffic (if we get a late start)?

Any and all tips will be handy. Thanks!
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 4:15:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By soccermike7:
Hey everyone.

This friday at noon I will be leaving with a group of my friends from Cleveland to travel to Marquette (i'm assuming you know that its in the upper peninsula). Should take about 11 hours.

Is there anything I should be aware of for the trip? I heard if the Mackinaw (sp?) bridge is closed due to high winds, etc. there is a ferry to take?

I'm assuming that takes a long time.

Is there bad construction anywhere, a good way to miss Detroits rush hour traffic (if we get a late start)?

Any and all tips will be handy. Thanks!



At Toledo you will have the option of going into MI on I75 or on US23. Take US23 and get back on I75 at Flint. That will get you around Detroit, and is the ONLY way I would go, unless I had business to do in Detroit.

There is no ferry at the bridge. If it is closed you sit and wait. I went to college in the UP and it was never closed to passenger vehicles when I was crossing. I can only remember once when friends that were crossing had to sit for a while in the four years.

Construction should be pretty much nil this time of year. Just drive safe if there is snow - there was an 83 car pileup near my house the other day because of white out conditions on the highway.

If you have time to make a detour and stop at Tahquammenon Falls and are willing to walk a couple of miles through the snow (it should be packed down - just wear boots) the upper falls are absolutely beautiful in the winter. The lower falls are pretty too, but if I could pick only one to visit it would be the upper falls. Tahquammenon Falls is on M123 between Paradise and Newberry.

If you are going snowmobiling watch out for the deer, slow down at trail corners and be safe out on the ice!
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 6:12:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 6:14:17 PM EDT by redrider808]
every thing he just posted is dead on.

Link Posted: 2/15/2006 1:11:52 PM EDT
I would definitely recommend taking US-23 and avoiding I-75. It will meet back up with I-75 and is a lot nicer scenery.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 1:19:35 PM EDT
The UP is great, but can get real nasty real quick in the winter. The stretch between Munising and Marquette gets shut down often due to ice, wind, and lack of visibility. Make sure you check the weather reports and hunker down some gear in case you get stuck 1/2 way on the Seney stretch. IM me if you have any specific questions.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 1:27:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/15/2006 1:31:45 PM EDT by soccermike7]
good gear shouldnt be much of a problem, seeing as we're all traveling to ski/snowboard. probably should make sure we're full on gas after we cross the bridge in case we have to idle for awhile. keep the van warm.

thanks for the advice on the roads!

edit: what about the ferrys it shows (on mapquest) going from the south part to mackinaw island, and then from that island to the top mackinaw city - mackinaw island, and then mackinaw island to St. Ignace. that'd probably take a damn long time.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 2:59:19 PM EDT


The ferry routes are correct. It's just that they serve the island only - from two different cities. They don't run this time of year because the lake is frozen or full of icebergs. Also - I think the only motorized vehicles on the island are an ambulance and maybe a firetruck.

It's easier to fill up the gas tank at Mackinac City than in St Ignace.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:46:17 PM EDT
Only thing I can add is put some basic survival stuff in the trunk ( blankets, candy bars, etc) in case you get caught in a blizzard in da U.P.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 3:56:36 AM EDT
I'm assuming you're going to Marquette Mountain to ski? Nice slope....I remember back in the winter of '95-'96 we were still skiing at Mqt Mnt into the second week of May! Up in Houghton, where I was living at the time, we had snow in the city snow pile up until early August! The UP is a different land, but a great place to visit.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 6:31:14 AM EDT

The Big Mac Bridge closes more often now then it used to, due to some folks that managed to drive over the railing. The Bridge Authority is tired of being sued, so they close it now. I went north for gun season and the bridge was closed for several hours with lots of gun hunters waiting to cross, and that was just for winds gusting in the 50 to 60 mph range. Hopefully things will calm down abit prior to your arrival. Just an FYI, many of the hotel/motels close in Mackinaw City for the winter, so a room could be hard to get if needed, and Gaylord is pretty much the last town to get lodging at, and with it being snowmobile season they could be tough to find there too.

With a possibility of snow and blowing snow, you may want to plan on a longer drive time, maybe much longer, if the lake effect snow's kick in with the cold air moving in you could have some tough driving from Grayling north and then parts of the UP could be getting more snow too. And with the temps as cold as there going to get, the roads will probably remain snow covered and tricky for awhile.

If the bridge is open and you have gas, there's no reason not to go over to St Ignace, there are plenty of gas stations on US 2 just west of I-75 (provided your using US2), I just find getting off at Mackinaw City a pain as the exit and on ramps are kinda of a pain and the stations while close, may have you driving around an unfamilar town to get back on the freeway. There's also some fast food, but they'll probably be closed by the time you make it there. There is a truck stop, not sure if they have food 24/7 or not but they'll be open, as the Shell and Holiday gas stations are normally open 24 hours.

After Mack City/St Ignace, fuel will be hard to come by if traveling late at night, until you make it to Munising. There's a Mobil along hwy 117 near Engadine that usually is open, and stations in Newberry on US28 east of 117 may be open late at night.

Good luck.

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