Swatting Around at Muskallonge Lake State Park
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.
We love this park and camp here every year. Consequently, we want to tell everyone that you do not want to come here, it’s a terrible place. The less people show up, the better our chances of getting a camping site we like. No, there are no free camp sites, ever! The pretty white rocks are quartz…and if you pick them up or even look for them you will probably never find an agate. Please don’t ever come up for the “Rock-on” festival show in the park in September either. You wouldn’t like it at all…food venders, experts giving advice about history and how to find agates, singers, lots of vendors selling crafty rock things like jewelry, minerals, semi-precious gem-stones, etc. Exceptional Park Rangers that help anyone who needs it and keep the facilities very clean. Again, you wouldn’t have any fun, so please stay away so that there is more room for us! Bahahaha!
You mention that there are free camping spots around the area, and that you’ll mention them in a future article. Where is the article? We love camping, and free camping is even better. 🙂 Some of our favorite spots are National Forest camp grounds, as they are usually well maintained and inexpensive, not to mention very rarely packed here in Michigan. I enjoy reading your blogs, and imagine what it would be like to be on your adventures.
There is so much we haven’t been able to share about our time in Michigan. Check this website http://www.ultimatecampgrounds.com/uc3/index.php, they have an immense database of govt. owned campgrounds.
I love the white rock collection. I have been collecting the same type in a valley forty miles east of Lake Michigan in the south west region Can they be cut or drilled? The sun shows where they are. What do you call them?
Quartz formed by molten Mantle, that as a liquid, gets Squeezed Up thru cracks in the Crust and Crystalizes as it Cools forming Clumps of the “Impurities” that are in it. Those Clump Impurities contain the Gold, other Precious Metals and Gems, like Agates. Also, black Magnetite sands.
Where you Find Quartz, you’ll find Gold and Other Valuable Minerals !! A Tile Wet Saw will Cut them nicely. A Diamond drill will Drill them too. They can be Polished using a Rock or Brass Tumbler, like a Thumler’s Tumbler brand(usa) using a Mild Abrasive. Check YTube rock polishing or tumbling vids for Proper techniques and Supply companies.
Good Luck and Enjoy ! ps: some tumbling can takes Days or Weeks for Quality Results.
Could you do a boondocking video in Roy and show a short video of Roy on the road?
The thing that Muskallonge has that the ranger could not see because he sees so much of it is solitude. This is one of the most peaceful places that I have been. I have to admit that the lake was not howling while we were there so your experience could vary.
Wow, Glad to see you are still traveling. I followed your blog when you had the new HR coach. thought I wanted a coach of that size but really did’tnt have the financial means to get a new modern fuel efficient coach. We traded our 11 Gas drive for a 06 diesel pusher. Have’nt been anywhere yet which is driving me crazy. Had a lot of little odds and ends off,broken,missing kind of things that I wanted to fix. So I am done waiting for the Holidays to end and then go south west.
So we were up there at Muskalong and also found pretty rocks. Marveled at the beauty of the inland lake while wishing we had a boat to enjoy it. You maybe missed somethings in the UP. The museum/Lighthouse at White Fish Bay will be with me forever and ever.Edmund Fitzgearald shipwreck.
A fun thing was petting a black bear cub at the Oswald Bear Ranch. The way he took the frootloops from my hand was kind of a sensation. His interaction with Mister O kind of left no doubt in my mind that he the bear was a thinking being
We love smoked fish and got some great fish and wild rice at a roadside just after the Mac bridge. The SP campground in St Ignace was great but kind of tight. Good observation point of bridge but a little encroached by the trees from a photog point of view others might not notice.
Glad you are still moving around. Missed what kind of vehicle you are in after the HR that to me seemed to be a perfect coach.Dennis
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is full of beautiful gems and scenic byway’s. If you’re ever back up in that neck of the woods, I highly recommend driving to the scenic overlook above Lake of the Clouds in Porcupine Mountains State Park. Heading east, you can climb the ski lift at Copper peak overlooking the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula, after driving the Brockaway Mountain Drive. Additional natural wonders are not far from the highway, such as Miner’s falls and Castle in Munising, or the grand Sable dunes near Grand Marais. Finish your tour of the UP with a drive along Lake Michigan’s northwest coast, stopping to dip your toes in the beautiful water near Manistique, as you drive Highway 2 towards the not to be missed Mackinac Bridge.
Best time is certainly fall during peak colors, or during the winter when it’s a wonderland (no bugs either 🙂
Looks like $9 well spent
yep, $9 for a two-fer is not bad.
Thanks for sharing. Looks like you were here when the weather was warm, I am thinking that, since the fishing is really good, we might try this with bug repellant at the ready. What happened to the Boon Docking in The Windy City piece? Did I somehow miss it?
We decided to wait for spring to share our Chicago Experience cause it’s way too dang cold in the windy city right now for us to talk about boondocking 🙂