When people think about New York, most think of New York City with all the skyscrapers, crowded streets and the lights on the billboards in Times Square. When I think of New York, I see spectacular waterfalls, mountains of green trees and beautiful lakes and streams.
I call it upstate as I live downstate and can’t wait to cross the bridges where I find my paradise. Upstate New York has quaint towns, wineries and breweries, scenic railroads and byways and what I love the most, great hiking.
Upper Peninsula Michigan vacation has always been on our
bucket list and after viewing so many beautiful pictures of it, we decided it
was time for us to go. We took 2 weeks and drive with our camper attached from
New York to experience the land of the waterfalls and boy we weren’t
After a long ride on Route 80, we started to head north and finally stopped for the night in a campground just north of Ann Arbor. Wow, we made it to Michigan but to get to the Upper Peninsula was still going to be a ride but now it was time to start enjoying our vacation.
With 195,000 acres and over 500 miles of trails hiking Shenandoah National Park can be enjoyed by everyone. There are hikes from easy to strenuous, from ridgeline mountain views to cascading waterfalls and everything in between. Along Skyline Drive you can hike over 100 miles of the Appleciahnan trail to get a glimpse at what it might be to accomplish such a feat.
Although I don’t consider myself an expert hiker, I love hiking and over the years visiting Shenandoah experienced some of the best hiking on the east coast. There is nothing better to fuel the soul than walking through the woods on a beautiful sunny day.
The best hikes from Bear Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park are the stunning lake series of Nymph, Dream and Emerald Lakes as well as Alberta Falls and Mill Lake. It is also nice to hike Bear Lake itself.
The Bear Lake trailhead located in the heart of the park has easy access and spectacular views. The road to the trailhead is beautiful especially in the morning and evening when elk are grazing in the fields.
The Bear Lake Trailhead is located at the end of Bear Lake Road about 10 miles from the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center (be sure to stop there first for detail hiking trails of the park). The elevation of the trailhead is 9,475 ft. and if hiking here during the summer peak season and on weekends I would definitely take the park bus shuttle to this area as it gets very crowded even in the early morning (although we got lucky twice during on stay and parked in the lot at the trailhead).
A vacation guide to Margaretville, NY in the Catskill Mountains
About Margaretville NY
Margaretville NY is a small town of about 600 year-round population in Delaware County on the west side of the Catskill Park area about 3 hours northwest of New York City. It’s one of the bigger towns in the area and has so much to offer to the surrounding communities with its small-town country feel.
I was introduced to this quaint town some 37 years ago when I met my now-husband, Gerry. You see his parents, Herbert and Simone, decided to build a small cottage to enjoy their retirement and with the help of their 4 sons, their vision became a reality. Unfortunately, my father-in-law (whom I never knew) passed before his dream came true. Simone kept this cottage which her whole family has come to cherish.
There are so many things to do in the Upper Peninsula that you can really spend weeks there exploring. It spans 325 miles in length and only has one interstate. Eighty-four percent of it was covered in forest, making it an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven. Many people flock here every year to enjoy outdoor recreation at its best. With over 200 waterfalls, 4300 inland lakes, 12000 miles of river and streams and border 3 of the great lakes, the Upper Peninsula is a nature lover’s paradise.
Things to do in the Upper Peninsula (all regions)
Eat a Pasty
Eat a pasty as the miners did years ago. It is meat, potatoes, and onions wrapped in a crust. You won’t have any problem finding a location that has them. You can even buy them frozen in the supermarket!
Watch a Lake Superior Sunset
Nothing is more beautiful than watching the sunset over Lake Superior.
There are 10 casinos throughout the Upper Peninsula. Kewadin Casino operates facilities in Christmas, St. Ignace, Manistique, Sault Ste Marie and Hessel. Kings Club Casino is located in Brimley, Northern Waters Casino in Watersmeet, MI, the Island Resort & Casino in Harris and Ojibwa Casino in Baraga and Marquette, MI. So when you’re visiting the UP, try your luck at any of these casinos and enjoy!
Isle Royale National Park has been on my bucket list for years. You see I love seeing moose in the wild and read a long time ago that moose are on the island as well as many other species of wildlife. A national park since 1931, it’s one of the least visited national parks probably because it’s not easy to get to. As it takes much planning, but it’s a wilderness paradise and once you go you will want to go back!
Isle Royale National Park is a hiker’s paradise. With no roads on the island, the only way to get around is to hike or boat from one part of the island to the other and to the many islands around the main island that make up the park. The main island is 45 miles long by 9 miles wide. The island is open from mid-April to October depending on the weather.
Old Fall River Road is a must-see when visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. This one-way, 9-mile narrow dirt road begins outside the entrance to the park and runs parallel to the Fall River. There are no guide rails and is very steep at times. The road starts at 8,558’ above sea level and ends at the Alpine Visitors Center which is at 11,796’above sea level.
We allowed a full day for our trip on Old Fall River Road. We drive a 23’ long crew cab pickup truck and at times we were not able to make the turns without maneuvering our truck several times. It is recommended that no vehicles over 25’ be on this curvy road and absolutely no trailers.
Sometimes you just need a break and let’s face it, we all could use a change of scenery which helps us relax and can do wonders for our attitudes. But with work and other responsibilities getting in the way, it’s just hard to get on that plane or take that long drive. We also love to camp but sometimes it’s just not worth taking the camper on a short trip (yes remember we live on Long Island and need to go over the New York City bridges to go just about anywhere). So this is when a weekend trip getaway from NYC comes to mind.
Over the years we have taken many of these trips, so check the following list to see where you want to take your next fast getaway to. I’ve also taken many of these trips with my friends (girl’s weekend) that we look forward to every year.
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