We planned on spending the entire day at Tahquamenon Falls State Park in da UP of Michigan, however our visit didn’t take as long as expected. With our $9 daily MI state park pass in hand, we figured we may as well see another Michigan state park and get every penny’s worth out of that pass.
When we arrived to the welcome office at Muskallonge Lake State Park we asked the young man “Why do people come to visit this State Park?” His reply “I don’t know, there’s not much to do or see other than walk along Lake Superior and look for Agate.”
Well…its not a remarkable endorsement, but I guess that’s what we’ll do then!
On the boardwalk to Lake Superior we had two sets of people say “watch out for the flies”…ok, we thought, this park isn’t seeming so awesome! We survived the barrage of biting flies, Nikki found a swatting branch and perfected the natural-fly-swat-while-walking technique, and we searched for what we thought were Agate stones. We found a ton of beautiful, creamy white, perfectly rounded opalescent rocks…come to find out these are not agates. Oh well, we still had fun searching. Oh yea, and lake Superior is freakin’ huge, and very cold!
So why is the state park here? A little research and we learned the park is the former location of a lumber town called Deer Park. In the late 1880’s the lake was actually a “mill pond,” the final destination for millions of virgin white pine trees harvested in the surrounding areas and brought in by train. A little more than 10 years later the pine forests were depleted, the mill closed and the town died. Its unbelievable how destructive we can be.
The “little” lake inside the state park was pretty, but the flies and mosquitoes made it difficult to want to stick around. The fishing, we’re told, is top notch all year round. There’s a nice RV friendly campground on the lake with full hook-ups, picnic areas and all that jazz, but the absolute best reason for stopping: the DNR ranger happened to be in the office and he thought our RV was cool, so he shared with us a few “secret” free spots to camp right on Lake Superior…but we’ll save that for the next article.
Have you been to Muskallonge Lake State Park up in da UP? What did you think about it? Did you have any luck finding a real agate? Share your thoughts in the comments below, we love hearing from our fellow travelers.