Historic Birch Lodge

Historic Birch Lodge
Historic Birch Lodge, Trout Lake, MI

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway, Bay Mills, MI (Part 2)

Print Friendly and PDF Welcome to the second installment of the Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway tour, which we took last fall.  This section begins west of Bay Mills, MI and continues west along Lakeshore Dr. to M-123.

Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery, Bay Mills, MI
The Pendills Creek Hatchery, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raises lake trout for stocking programs in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Tours are available by calling ahead. Some very interesting illustrated signs in the parking lot.   Stop and read them for some interesting information on the trout hatching and stocking program. 
Mouth of Pendills Creek at Whitefish Bay, Bay Mills, MI
 There is also an access point to Lake Superior across the road with a roadside park along Pendills Creek.  You can walk a short trail out Lake Superior at the mouth of Pendills Creek

"The Narrows" is an area east of Naomikong Point where the road is very close to the lake.  Searching for a reason for the name, I found only one reference to the narrow strip of land between the road and lake.

  The term seemed nautical to me, and looking at a map, I noticed that in this area, the deep lake waters come very close to the shore, only a narrow strip of shallows between them and land.  This might be of interest to note for any who might be temped to swim here.  The waters will be colder, and perhaps more dangerous that at "The Shallows".
Naomikong Point Overlook, Whitefish Bay, MI

North Country Trail, Naomikong Point, MI
Naomikong Point and Naomikong Overlook are an access point to the North Country Trail.  The name is from the Native American word for shoal point.  It forms the eastern boundary of the Tahquamenon Bay.

 The point itself is well north of the road, but the overlook is lovely, and there is a trail with stairs that will lead you to the water, this is a long walk, so be prepared to hike at least a couple of miles.  Or you can access the North Country trail at several other points along the drive.  You may also walk the trail to the south of the road which leads to Naomikong Pond.  This is a stocked trout pond.

"The Shallows" is a beautiful boulder studded stretch of beach with shallow water extending well out into the lake.  This area was noted by the native Americans as an excellent fishery. 
Beach at "The Shallows", Whitefish Bay, MI

The shallow waters will warm quickly, and beach goers might take this into consideration.
We enjoyed the long stretch of beach and the rocks here.  A good place for photos.

  The North Country Trail passes along the beach here. 

North Country Trail, Whitefish Bay, MI

"The Bark Docks" is another lake and North Country Trail access point.
It actually runs parallel the road along the beach.  You can walk short or longer segments to see interesting bird and plant species. 
Beach at "The Barkdocks", Whitefish Bay, MI

  Don't look for docks here, you won't see them.  I believe the name may reference the location of docks used by loggers to ship hemlock bark.

 This was much valued for its tannic acid, and used extensively in tanning leather.
All is gone now, but another great place to access the lake, and another wonderful sandy shore. 

Bald Eagle, Whitefish Bay, MI

This was the last stop on our tour, as the Byways pulls away from the shore as it approaches it's end at the intersection  of M-123.  It was at this point also, that we spotted the eagle, perhaps bidding us goodbye and beckoning us to return again.  We will, I hope you do too.

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