Tom Powers reviews Points North

Points North: Discover Hidden Campgrounds, Natural Wonders, and Waterways of the Upper Peninsula
by Mikel B. Classen

Review by Tom Powers, Michigan in Books

Points North by MIkel B. Classen

Points North by MIkel B. Classen

Yes, yet another travel guide to the Upper Peninsula, and if you’re tempted to dismiss it and say enough already, you would be wrong. This is both a travel guide to 40 uniquely beautiful and scenic wonders or historically significant destinations north of Big Mac and it also doubles as a tribute to the indisputable beauty, splendor, and unique history of the U.P.

Unlike a typical travel guide, a two- to four-page essay is devoted to each site. The author’s love for the U.P. is obvious on every page. Whether a museum, a state park, or a 17,000-acre wilderness area Classen’s descriptions are vibrant, enticing, and thorough. Color photographs, most of which were taken by the author, complement the essays.

The book contains almost as many surprises as the “Secret Upper Peninsula.” The author credits the Au Train River as the best kayaking river in the U.P. In an essay on a state forest campground located on Lake Michigan near Naubinway he not only fully describes the little-used campground and the beautiful beach but also mentions that just offshore is the Lake Michigan Water Trail which I Googled because I had never heard of it. It seems the trail is still under development in the four states surrounding Lake Michigan and when completed it will be the longest freshwater water trail in the world.

I was particularly taken with the book’s scenic descriptions, history, and activities to be found at the 17,000-acre McCormick Wilderness Tract, the three square miles of the little-used Donnelley Wilderness Tract located in the foothills of the Huron Mtns, and the Grand Canyon of the U.P. the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. It is another book that belongs in the car of any Troll (those of us living below the Mackinac Bridge) vacationing in the U.P. Better yet the book should be read by anyone planning a trip to the Upper Peninsula. It is sure to influence their itinerary.

Even if you are never going to the U.P. it is still well worth reading just to gain an appreciation of what this great state and the Upper Peninsula have to offer its citizens in the way of outdoor adventures and unique natural wonders. This sparkling collection of essays makes for great reading. There is no arguing with the author’s claim that the essays and the research that went into them were a”labor of love.”

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Points North

SKU 978-1-61599-490-8
$27.95
In stock
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Product Details

Featuring more than 150 color photos of the U.P.'s most beautiful, historic, and natural locations!

I've spent many years exploring the wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.), and one thing has become apparent: no matter what part in which you find yourself, fascinating sights are around every corner. There are parks, wilderness areas and museums. There are ghost towns and places named after legends. There are trails to be walked and waterways to be paddled. In the U.P., life is meant to be lived to the fullest. In this book, I've listed 40 destinations from every corner of the U.P. that have places of interest. Some reflect rich history, while others highlight the natural wonders that abound. So, join in the adventures. The Upper Peninsula is an open book--the one that's in your hand.

"Without a doubt, Mikel Classen's Points North needs to be in every library, gift shop and quality bookstore throughout the country--particularly those located in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Not only does Classen bring alive the U.P. through his polished words, his masterful use of color photography also makes this book absolutely beautiful. Points North will long stand as a tremendous tribute to one of the most remarkable parts of our country."
--Michael Carrier, author, Murder on Sugar Island

"Mikel Classen's love for Michigan's Upper Peninsula shines from every page in Points North, a fascinating insider's guidebook to the exceptional beauty and history of Michigan's far north. Whether you're still in the planning stages of your trip, or you're looking back fondly on the memories you created--even if you wish merely to enjoy a virtual tour of the Upper Peninsula's natural wonders from the comfort of your armchair, you need this book."
--Karen Dionne, author of the international bestseller, The Marsh King's Daughter

"Many of the places in Points North may sound familiar, but Classen has spent time exploring them all, finding out the wonders others drive by and miss. And some of them may baffle you as much as they did me: the UP has a WWII glider museum? Classen has scoured every inch of the UP, visiting every campground, ghost town, lighthouse, waterfall, and beach that you may have never heard of. This book is full of surprises for even the most knowledgeable visitors to the UP. And if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself marking up the pages, making notes of places you have to visit next time you’re up north."
--Steve Lehto, author of Death's Door: The Truth Behind the Strike of 1913 and the Italian Hall Disaster and Michigan's Columbus: The Life of Douglass Houghton

"Until I read this book, I had not realized the large number of hidden treasures that the U.P. has. More than just an interesting history, this book is a descriptive roadmap to these treasures. Points North can be used as a guide to an adventure you would never have known about on your own. The pictures and place descriptions here are fantastic! These hidden locations have suddenly become easy to find with this book. I recommend it highly."
--Bob Hruska, author of Humorous Hunting, Fishing, and Camping in the U.P. and Canada

Learn more at www.PointsNorthBooks.com

From Modern History Press www.ModernHistoryPress.com

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