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Alpena Blueway

Explore Alpena, Thunder Bay, shipwrecks, Lighthouses, Islands, and miles of undeveloped coastline
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INFORMATION ON TRAIL SECTIONS

 

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Route:  OSSINEKE TO ALPENA

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Distance: 9.5 Miles

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Access Sites:  04-04 (Ossineke State Forest Campground) & 04-08 (Mich-e-ke-wis Park)

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Shoreline Land Use: Residential and wetlands

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Points of Interest: Squaw Bay, Sulphur Island, Partridge Point, Grass Island and Bare Point

Rest Stops: Partridge Point DNR Public Access (04-07)

Hazards & Cautions: High winds from the east push water into the shallow and creates large waves. 

Comments: Influenced by bedrock deposits, the southern part of the bay is shallow. Combined with low lakes levels, exposed bottom lands, intermittent wetlands and Great Lakes marshes are common, especially in Squaw Bay.  Great area for birding from watercraft.

 

Route:  PARTRIDGE POINT TOUR

Distance: 4.5 Miles

Access Sites:  04-08 (Mich-e-ke-wis Park) & 04-07 (DNR access Partridge Point)

Shoreline Land Use: Residential and wetlands

Points of Interest: Squaw Bay, Grass Island, Sulphur Island, Bare Point and Partridge Point

 Rest Stops: No rest stops between Alpena and Partridge Point

Hazards & Cautions: High winds from the east push water into the shallow and creates large waves. 

Comments: The entrance road off Partridge Point Road to the DNR public access site is very rough and sometimes has large puddles.   Influenced by bedrock, the southern part of the bay is shallow. Combined with low lakes levels, exposed bottom lands, intermittent wetlands and Great Lakes marshes are common, especially in Squaw Bay.  Great area for birding from watercraft.

 

Route:  ALPENA WATERFRONT

Distance: 3 Miles

Access Sites:  04-08, 04-10, 04-11, 04-13 & 04-14

Shoreline Land Use: Residential, commercial, industrial and parks,

Points of Interest: Numerous parks, marina, industrial facilities

Rest Stops: Numerous city parks

Hazards & Cautions: Recreational boat traffic particularly near the City Marina and the Thunder Bay River

Comments: Provides an interesting paddle along the city’s waterfront, views of residences, businesses, beaches, parks, wetlands, large ships and industries.

 

Route:  THUNDER BAY RIVER

Distance: 1.2 Miles

Access Sites:  04-13 & 04-14

Shoreline Land Use: Urban built-up

Points of Interest: Thunder Bay Maritime Heritage Center, 9th Street Dam, 2nd Street Bridge and Island Foot Bridge

 Rest Stops: No rest stops

Hazards & Cautions: Recreational boat traffic

Comments: Paddle up to 9th Street Dam and Maritime Heritage Center

                                                                                   

Route:  ALPENA TO THUNDER BAY ISLAND

Distance: 12.5 Miles

Access Sites:  04-13 OR 04-14

Shoreline Land Use: Mostly Undeveloped

Points of Interest: Shallow shipwrecks, North Point, Thunder Bay Island, Sugar Island, Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse

 Rest Stops: No rest stops

Hazards & Cautions: The segment is a long paddle across open water. Only recommended for groups of expert paddlers.

Comments: Camping is not allowed on Thunder Bay Island. This trip would require a round trip paddle or paddle onto to El Cajon Bay. Note it is a long portage to car parking through the Alpena Township Nature Preserve or the State Forest Land on El Cajon Bay. 

 

Route:  EL CAJON BAY TO THUNDER BAY ISLAND

Distance: 6 Miles     

Access Sites:  04-16, 04-17

Shoreline Land Use: Coastal wetlands and cedar forests     

Points of Interest: Coastal marshes, Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse, shipwrecks, Crooked Island, Round Island, Gull Island and Sugar Island.

 Rest Stops: No designated rest stops between island and mainland.

Hazards & Cautions: Misery Bay has shallow areas and shoals that create difficulties in heavy waves. Only recommended for groups of expert paddlers.

Comments: Access to El Cajon Bay to launch a kayak requires a long portage. Access off Misery Bay Road through the Alpena Township Nature Preserve is a 0.8 mile hike and access through the State Forest property is a 0.5 hike. Camping is NOT allowed in the Nature Preserve. Camping is not allowed on Thunder Bay Island.

                                                                       

Route:  ALPENA TO EL CAJON BAY

Distance: 15 Miles

Access Sites:  04-16, 04-17

Shoreline Land Use: Mostly undeveloped

Points of Interest: Coastal marshes, Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse, Crooked Island, Round Island, Gull Island and Sugar Island.

 Rest Stops: There are no designated rest stops

Hazards & Cautions: Misery Bay has shallow areas and shoals that create difficulties in heavy waves. Only recommended for groups of expert paddlers.

Comments: Access to El Cajon Bay to launch a kayak requires a long portage. Access off Misery Bay Road through the Alpena Township Nature Preserve is a 0.8 mile hike and access through the State Forest property is a 0.5 hike. Camping is NOT allowed in the Nature Preserve. Camping is not allowed on Thunder Bay Island.

 

Route:  EL CAJON BAY TO ROCKPORT

Distance: 12 Miles

Access Sites:  04-16, 04-17 to 04-18

Shoreline Land Use: Low desnity waterfront residential, private ownership between El Cajon and Rockport

Points of Interest: Underwater sinkhole in El Cajon Bay, numerous small bays and points. Alpena Township Nature Preserve on El Cajon Bay.

Rest Stops: There are no rest stops between Rockport and El Cajon Bay.

Hazards & Cautions: When lake levels are low it's not possible to paddle the outlet from Ej Cajon Bay. A short Portage is necessary.

Comments: Access to El Cajon Bay to launch a kayak requires a long portage. Access off Misery Bay Road through the Alpena Township Nature Preserve is a 0.8 mile hike and access through the State Forest property is a 0.5 hike. Camping is NOT allowed in the Nature Preserve.

                                                                                   

 

Route:  MIDDLE ISLAND

Distance: 2.5 Miles

Access Sites:  04-18

Shoreline Land Use: Open water

Points of Interest: Middle Island Lighthouse

Rest Stops: Rest Stop on State Land of Middle Island

Hazards & Cautions: All Open water paddling.            Only recommended for groups of expert paddlers.

Comments: Most of the island along with the lighthouse is privately owned. Respect the private owners and only stop at the state owned parcel on the northwest point of Middle Island.

 

Places
Accomodation Accomodation
Amusement Park Amusement Park
Bike Shop or Rental Bike Shop or Rental
Birding Sites Birding Sites
Boat Launch Boat Launch
Brewery Brewery
Campground Campground
Culture Culture
Lighthouse Lighthouse
Maritime History Maritime History
Natural Feature Natural Feature
Nature Area Nature Area
Shipwreck Shipwreck
Water Access Water Access
 
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