Letters

Letters 04-25-2016

Taking Our Trees Seconds ago this pine tree was alive. Well, Mr. Cook — our County Road Commission head —and Peninsula Township government … by not weighing in (I guess it’s not your problem or responsibility to communicate with residents), you allowed the County Road Commission to bulldoze down huge swaths of lakeside trees in order to increase the bike lane. This can’t be happening. I have no clue why they would cut trees down that help block snow from creating drifts on Peninsula Drive and help keep the beach area intact. Plus, they are not increasing the width of the road when they repave. I just don’t get it. This is amateur hour at county and township government...

Government Service Unrewarded I served the federal government for XX years with the [agency], [doing XX]. I also worked in the private sector, [doing XX]. When I retired, I was surprised to learn my Social Security benefit would be $XXX less per month than my colleagues and neighbors who had never worked for the federal government. This is all because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) under the Social Security law...

Which Greased Palm Now that “Chicago values” have utterly corrupted the executive and judicial branches of our federal government, this November We the Plebeians shall either vote to right the governing integrity of the United States constitution’s twin pillars of limited government and separation of powers or turn and step collectively onto the blood soaked road to serfdom...

The Political Mess And Challenge As citizens we are faced with a real challenge. The media and the political candidates have taken over a year to attack those whom they are opposing. The unfavorable ratings of those who may be nominated are above 50 percent. That should be no surprise, considering the length of time given to bloodying one another with opinions that have little relationship to truth. The polling companies, which confess they are not reliable, make everything a game of winning...

CORRECTIONS In last week’s issue we had photos with the incorrect stories on page five. The dance photo should have accompanied the story about grants to nonprofits. The image of Crooked Tree Arts Center Petoskey should have accompanied the story about the ArtPrize exhibit at CTAC.

We also reported the incorrect day for the Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City. The correct date is Sat., May 28.

We apologize for these errors.

Home · Articles · News · Features · Drummond Island
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Drummond Island

Mike Terrell - December 6th, 2010
Drummond Island: a Snowmobiling Paradise
by Mike Terrell
My companions and I had been following a snake-like trail that hugged
Drummond Island’s rocky shoreline.  At times we would dart back into
the snow-covered cedars, maneuver around a few boulders, and bust back
out along the shoreline.
It was beautiful, and we were going slow enough to appreciate it.
Along the shore the contrast of gleaming white snow and bright blue
water created a stunning picture, especially when you first emerged
from dark stands of cedars crowding the shoreline.  Gliding through
the cedars on your sled was like going through a series of strobe
lights with shafts of sunlight streaming through the thick cover.
“Wow,” said one of my companions.  “That was great.  Riding along the
shoreline is a blast; very scenic.  One moment you’re in thick cover,
and the next, riding along the open lake.”
 “The best is yet to come,” I remember being told by a couple of local
riders after talking about the same thing a few years earlier as we
paused at the same location.  They weren’t overstating either.  I just
kept quiet and let the ride speak for itself.
As we left the shoreline after the rest stop, we began to slowly climb
inland.  The landscape changed to rolling, open hills dotted with
hardwood stands.
I led them off trail as we approached a high point along the eastern
end of the island.  The trail does a U-turn and heads back down, but
you maneuver through a rock garden, over a rocky knoll and down the
other side to a flat shelf-like area along a bluff. Here you’ll find
one of the most incredible views in the eastern U.P.  While it’s not
officially part of the trail, there’s normally a well-worn path
leading to the popular view spot.

THE NORTH CHANNEL
Standing on top of a 200-foot limestone bluff called Marble Head you
look over Lake Huron’s North Channel.  The Canadian mainland stretches
as far as the eye can on the other side of the channel, and Canada’s
Cockburn Island, just to the south, looks no more than a stone’s throw
away.  Beyond that Manitoulin Island, also Canadian and the largest
island in the Great Lakes, floats on the blue horizon.  It’s a spot to
linger and just enjoy the panoramic view.
While it can be pretty busy on winter weekends, we were there midweek
and had the trails mostly to ourselves.  Traveling a little over 50
miles that afternoon, we encountered only three or four other sleds.
We also took a ride across the Maxton Plains, which offers a glimpse
into one of Michigan’s rare alvar grassland prairies.  It’s an odd
combination of flat grasslands, limestone bedrock and large boulders
left by the last glacier; much different than the Marble Head area.
The local riders I encountered a few years ago used to crow about the
fact that Drummond Island may be the best kept secret in the UP for
snowmobiling, but that’s changed in the last decade or so.
Drummond Island Resort, by far the largest lodging facility on the
island, has seen a steady increase in its winter business over the
years.
“It depends a lot on how winters are going in the Lower Peninsula,”
said Amy Hoffman, who works for the resort handling calls and
reservations.  “Our snow is normally fairly reliable.  Snowmobilers
can usually count on good conditions from late December through
March.”

SPORTSMAN’S PARADISE
Drummond, often referred to as the “Gem of Huron,” is the largest
American Great Lake’s island.  Its 150 miles of shoreline supports
some of the finest fishing and waterfowl hunting habitat in the UP.
It’s long been known as a sportsman’s paradise.  In addition to
plentiful deer, some of the deep wilderness areas on the island are
home to moose, bear, coyotes, and a few wolves that have crossed the
natural ice bridges that form in winter.
Snowmobiles used to cross ice bridges to access Canadian mainland
trails, but that’s not very popular anymore, according to Hoffman.
“Crossings used to be simple and quick.  Now with the borders being
much tighter, it’s much harder to do.  A bit of a hassle,” she added.
“Most snowmobilers stay on the island.  There’s over 100 miles of
marked, groomed island trails, and we have maps.  It’s easy to find
your way around.”
The resort, once a private hunting preserve, offers a unique blend of
modern convenience in a rustic, lodge-like setting.  You can access
the island trail system right from their parking lot.  Winter nightly
room rates, based on two people per room run $119, and they also rent
snowmobiles.  The resort also offers about 10 miles of groomed cross
country trails.
It’s a short ferry ride – about a mile across Detour Straits – but a
world apart from the mainland.  The 850-some year-round residents that
live on the island are a friendly lot that wave as you pass by.  They
love to talk about their beloved island and always lend a hand with
directions.
It’s a slow, relaxed pace of life.  “You’re on island time now.  Enjoy
the trip,” they will tell you.

For more information visit:
www.drummondisland.com and www.drummondislandchamber.com.

 
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