Just a few minutes away from Marquette Michigan’s Historic Downtown area, along Marquette’s Lakeshore Drive, a thumb formed peninsula of earth juts out into the occasional brutal waters of Lake Superior that is called Presque Isle. Presque Isle offers an abundant, “horn of outdoor plenty” that will suit just about anyone’s outdoor lifestyle.
The first distinguished characteristic of Presque Isle is the scenic vistas that it offers and surrounds the nearly two mile length of jagged shoreline. This exposed rock-gnarled shoreline is some of the oldest rock formations that can be viewed in the United States.
Of the 323 acres that Presque Isle encapsulates, only 13 of it is developed, so before you feel as if you may be marooned on this isle it does offer some conveniences such as; two restrooms constructed with contemporary facilities, picnic tables, three fresh-water drinking fountains and a boat launch located at the 97 boat slipped marina. Presque Isle Park even has two beautifully constructed wooden gazebos; one of which is a small, but quaint one, perfect for small wedding ceremonies and a larger one on the other side of the isle that accommodates larger groups for various events, both can be reserved for such occasion’s.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may seek-out and explore the seven miles of hiking and skiing trails inland of Presque Isle. During the winter a 3.5 and 1.5 kilometer loop is groomed for cross-country skiing. The wisp of wind through trees coming off of Lake Superior, the curious little steps of seen and unseen woodland creatures and the chirps of many species of birds that inhabit the isle are the only sounds to be heard while you meld with nature along these trails.
While you’re trekking the inland trails of Presque Isle you will certainly see wildlife abound. Many deer reside on Presque Isle, some of which even do a little exploring themselves by wandering onto the campus of Northern Michigan University, some of the adjacent neighborhoods and even some venture further, seeking out the Marquette night-life downtown. It also serves as a bird watching Mecca if you will , so be sure to bring a camera for the vista’s and the binoculars for the birds.
After capturing images of fauna you can now goes on to capture that of the local flora that inhabits the inland body of Presque Isle. It holds large stands of ironwood, maple, birch as well as virgin white pine. You may even see huge hemlocks and shaggy barked hickory trees that make home on Presque Isle.
One of the most intriguing parts of Presque Isle’s history is that it was home for Charlie Kawbawgam, one of the last chief’s of a Upper Peninsula Chippewa Indian tribe and Michigan’s most famous American Indian.
Chief Kawbawgam was born in 1799 and died in 1903. His life span is something to be reckoned with and is that of something very few people see in their life time but Chief Charlie Kawbawgam’s life spanned three consecutive centuries during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Chief Charlie Kawbawgam and his wife, Charlotte, lived their remaining years of life on Presque Isle and the Lake Superior shoreline. After Chief Charlie passed away, Charlotte made fame after having filed a lawsuit and winning, as to recuperate mining rights given to her by her father. The well documented victory in the Michigan Supreme Court established the right of Native Americans to claim their inheritance based on their rights of tribal customs and law.
Chief Kawbawgam’s grave and memorial constructed of natural materials can be viewed just as soon as you enter the road that leads you around Presque Isle, shortly on the right-side of the road. Keep in mind that this very same road serves both the automobiles, bikes and foot traffic, on occasions and on an alternative bases. So with that said you may be caught on a bike and foot traffic only day by limited hours. See signs for details.
Presque Isle is a vacation spot within a vacation spot located two miles away from a campground or more affluent accommodations at Marquette Michigan’s Landmark Inn. You can even request the room named after Chief Charlie Kawbawgam.
Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians