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The gentle meeting of land and inland sea at the tip of Old Mission Peninsula once led a New York Times writer to mistakenly wax poetic about Lake Michigan’s unique “tidal flats.” Of course, we don’t experience tides on the Great Lakes, but this magical area, home to a lighthouse, beach and lovely trail network, is a spot you’ll return to over and over again. At the northern terminus of M-37.
Try a hike through Pelizzari Natural Area, where easy to moderate trails wind through a mix of meadows, woods and a lovely stand of old hemlocks; swimming at Haserot Park, a fantastic (and seldom busy) beach; and picnicking at the kid-friendly park on beautiful Bowers Harbor. (Find provisions, plus ice cream, antiques and souvenirs at the funky Old Mission General Store. 18250 Mission Rd., Village of Old Mission, 231.223.4310.)