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Spend an Evening on Charity Island in Saginaw Bay

The Allure of the Mysterious Charity IslandA lush tree-lined island sits on the horizon of both the north and south shores of Saginaw Bay. Big & Little Charity Islands sit in the middle of the bay a mere ten miles from the Michigan Thumb.  Except for the seasonal residents who work the B&B at the lighthouse keepers house, the island is uninhabited. These islands are considered by the US Fish and Wildlife Services one of the more remote and least visited islands in the Michigan Island National Wildlife Sanctuary. This is partially due to the rock-filled treacherous waters that surround the island.

Charity Island by the Numbers
Big Charity Island is the largest island on the US side of Lake Huron. At 250 acres it imposes a dominating outline at the mouth of Saginaw Bay. It has an 11-acre pond that is spring fed and surrounded by reeds. It’s a favorite spot for nesting Bald Eagles and other birds and as a result, the Wildlife Service has denoted both islands as off-limits to campi…
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Upper Thumb Festivals and Events

Bad Axe

Huron Community Fair- This end of summer offers good old fashioned 4-H agricultural exhibits, a midway full of rides and attractions, and an arena of events that include rodeos, tractor, and team pulling, demolition derbies and live entertainment.  Bay Port

Fish Sandwich Festival- This is considered one of the original shoreline festivals that has been featured by  ABC's 20/20, and NBC's Today Show. It celebrates one of the tastiest creations of the Upper Thumb. An original recipe fish sandwich that takes two hands to hold. Held in early August  Caseville

Shanty Days - This mid-winter festival in February began in 1992.  The major events can be found at Caseville County Park and in Caseville Harbor. The highlights include a Polar Bear Dip, Chili Cook-off Potty Trotty and Broom Ball Hockey.   Ribstock- It starts to warm up in the Upper Thumb in June and it also signals the start of festival season. Ribstock is a weekend full of top county western bands, line-dancing lessons …

Safe and Sound in Michigan

Michigan is a huge state. You can start at the southern border just north of Toledo Ohio and drive a solid 10 hours to reach Ironwood Michigan and never leave the state. So it's important when traveling in some of the more remote areas of the state to be prepared for winter driving and for emergencies.

Get Your Car Ready For Winter - Great Lakes winters can be brutal. Temperatures on a typical day dip below 30 degrees Fahrenheit and the strong winds from the lakes lead to massive snowfall. Here is how to get ready for the season. 

Have a Plan If You're Stranded - We should all have an emergency kit in our cars. In order to decide what to put in your kit, you need to take into account the weather in your area (here in Michigan, we know it will often be cold and snowy!) and what items will suit your family’s needs.





Likewise, if you hunt or fish in the Great Lake State it's important to have the skills to survive out in the wild. One of the most deadly outdoor sports is ice fish…

The Michigan Indian Trails We Travel Everyday

If you think about it, it makes sense. The routes that the native Michigan tribes made and utilized for thousands of years cover the same ground that Michigan Department of Transportation has paved and we are using today as we cross the state to visit friends in Chicago visit the wineries in Traverse City or watch the Thanksgiving parade in downtown Detroit. 

Amazingly, Michigan's first trails were not made by Indians but ranging buffalo herds in migration. This was especially true on the St. Joseph trail in Southwest Michigan.

The major trails in lower Michigan tended to link Indian settlements of Mackinac, Detroit, Saginaw, and Niles. The area around Saginaw had the most native American settlements in the Great Lakes region.  




Major Michigan Trail Systems
Shore Line Trail- A minor trail starting near Toledo and hugging the shore of Lake Erie, the Straits of Detroit. Past Fort Gratiot and Lake Huron to a spot near White Rock. White Rock was considered a solemn spiritual place of offe…

Microplastic In The Great Lakes and In You

The next time you brush your teeth or wash your face you may be contributing to adding plastic into the Great Lakes. Back in 2012 the New York Times reported that microplastics were identified as a serious threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem. As of now there is no way to stop the plastic contamination from products with microplastics from entering the watershed.
"Microplastics are really concerning because so many fish or marine species ingest them," Wallace said. "Especially for human health, it's something we're thinking about. If we eat those fish that eat those microplastics, what does that mean?" -- Dr. Lorena Rios Mendoza
What may be a bigger factor is our clothing. Fibers fall off our clothing everytime we launder them. These microfibers get past waste treatment and into our water system. 
Get more information at  Have We Turned the Great Lakes Into A Plastic Soup? on Thumbwind.com

Can You Climb Turnip Rock?

Turnip Rock has been deemed one of the Amazing Rock Formations in America by CNN. Indeed its one of the most photographed attractions in the Upper Thumb. However, the unique rock formation is located on private land and considered part of the Pointe Aux Barques cottage community. 

Access to Turnip Rock is only available as a guest of a member of Pointe Aux Barques community or if you access by water with a kayak or canoe. That being said you must stay in the water or right along the edge of the water.   

As soon as you attempt to climb up the famous rock or its equally favorite neighbor the "thumbnail" your trespassing on private property. Even worse is that the entire formation is subject to extreme conditions and has a tendency to weather, crumble and fall apart. Climbing will undoubtedly cause some minor, but real damage. It would quickly add up if everyone did it. You will likely end up arrested and having to spend some time in Bad Axe at the county jail. Which would blow …

Michigan Wind Farms

Michigan Wind Farm StatsAs of June 2018, Michigan has a total of 1,051 operational turbines. Plans underway show a total of 1,084 turbines becoming operational in 2018.

Michigan ranks 14th in the nation for installed wind turbines. There are at least 26 manufacturing facilities in Michigan producing components for the wind industry.

DTE Energy ranked 7th in the nation for utility ownership of wind power capacity in 2017.

See the Michigan Interactive Wind Farm Map available on Thumbwind