What to do and see in Rapid River, United States: The Best Places and Tips

December 5, 2017 Christa Meece

Discover the best top things to do in Rapid River, United States including Peninsula Point Lighthouse, Days River Natural Trail, Ludington Park, Gladstone Golf Club, Rapid River Ski Trail, Irish Oaks Golf Course, Haymeadow Creek Falls Trail, Norway ORV Trail, Sand Point Lighthouse, Forest Island ORV Trail.
Restaurants in Rapid River

1. Peninsula Point Lighthouse

8181 US Highway 2, Rapid River, MI 49878-9250 +1 906-789-7862
Excellent
45%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
5%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 20 reviews

Peninsula Point Lighthouse

The 40 ft. lighthouse tower is an easy climb on a circular staircase to a beautiful view from the platform at the top. The spectacular panorama of lake Michigan is unparalleled. Be sure to bring you camera.The rocky shoreline yields fossils estimated at 400-500 million years old. In the fall, thousands of monarch butterflies converge on the area to rest before their migration across Green Bay.General InformationTo reach the Peninsula Point Lighthouse and Picnic Area from Rapid River, go east on US-2 to the Stonington exit. Follow County Road 513 and Forest Road 2204 for 19 miles to the parking lot. The last mile of road is not recommended for recreational vehicles or trailers over 16 feet long or 8 feet high. A parking area for RV's is available at the beginning of the narrow, winding final mile of road.HistoryCongress appropriated funds for the building of a lighthouse on the Stonington Peninsula on July 20, 1864. This marked the beginning of an era of lighthouse history that well over a hundred years later can still add fuel to the fires of imagination. The wooden sailing ships needed navigational help to keep their hulls from being torn open on the treacherous shoals of the channels leading to safety at the docks of Escanaba and Gladstone, Fayette and Nahma. There were busy ports transporting fish, lumber, iron ore and other products. The shipping industry was growing at a rapid rate.The U.S. Government recognized the need for a lighthouse on the peninsula to aid navigation around these dangerous shoals and reefs separating Big Bay de Noc, Little Bay de Noc, and Green Bay of Lake Michigan.The Michigan historical lighthouse at Peninsula Point was completed in 1865, and the lantern was lighted for the first time. The building consisted of a 40 ft. tall light tower with a beacon lit by an oil lamp and reflectors. Attached to the north side of the tower was a 1-1/2 story brick home for the and his family.The first lighthouse keeper was Mr. Charles Beggs, who died there in 1887. The second, Mr. Henry Corgan, and the third, Mr. Peter Knutsen. In 1889 Captain James D. Armstrong was appointed keeper and this was home to him and his family until 1922. At this time an automatic acetylene light replace the hand operated oil lamp ant it was no longer necessary to occupy the site. However, Captain Armstrong continued to be responsible for Peninsula Point until 1931.The light went out for the last time in 1936. In 1937, the USDA-Forest Service was granted custodianship, repairs were made to the buildings, and public picnic grounds were constructed by the Civilian conservation Corps.The Stonington Grange took over the maintenance of the structure and grounds and in 1949 won first prize in their State contest for their work at the Michigan historical lighthouse.The house portion burned to the ground in 1959. The debris was cleared and the damage to the north side of the tower repaired in 1962 by the USDA Forest Service.Picnic GroundsThe USDA Forest Service operates the grounds as a picnic area, with 10 tables and grills on the lawns surrounding the tower. Pit toilets are available, as well as drinking water.Information courtesy of the USDA Forest Service

Reviewed By 16kren2016 - Ingham County, Michigan

This is more of a really far away park that happens to have a lighthouse. Its on a very rural pennisula, with an aweome tree canopy, one way dirt road along lake michigan, very close in elevation to the water! It was great to have such a private spot to watch the sunset, but watch out for deer on the way out!

2. Days River Natural Trail

3 miles NW of Gladstone via US-2 & Days River Rd, Gladstone, MI 49837 +1 906-293-3293
Excellent
64%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Days River Natural Trail

Features: Biking, Hiking, and Cross Country SkiingPicture yourself gliding silently past a clearwater stream gurgling in and out of pockets of glistening ice, or entering a pristine forest of pines and larch trees to see elk standing in the distant shadows, or even stopping with your companions in snow-draped woods to enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate.All these scenarios and more can be enjoyed on a day trip to one of the public cross-country ski pathways found in Michigan's beautiful state forests.

Reviewed By scholr27 - Gladstone, Michigan

This place is great any time of the year. We have hiked it, skied it, snowshoed it, and just enjoyed it. The only minus is that there is not many places to sit down, so if you need to rest you will just have to sit on a stump. Also bring your own water. There is no place to get a drink here unless you eat snow or drink from the stream. A little advanced planning will go a long way.......

3. Ludington Park

1007 Ludington St, Escanaba, MI 49829-3501
Excellent
77%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

Ludington Park

Reviewed By kanbaatar - Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Ludington Park, here in Escanaba, Michigan, is certainly a very special Park. I am happy I checked Trip Advisor and saw it ranked as the Number One Attraction. There are several very special areas within Ludington Park.

The Veteran's Memorial. The Municipal Swimming Beach.. The Band Stand and environs. The PHENOMENAL Children's Playground.

I am posting a fair number of photos showing each of these areas.

Lastly, you can NOT visit Ludington Park without seeing the Lighthouse and Museum both located at the (is it) South end of the park.

4. Gladstone Golf Club

Days River Road, Gladstone, MI 49837 +1 906-428-9646
Excellent
44%
Good
56%
Satisfactory
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

A series of exciting changes to this scenic course in the Hiawatha National forest will make for enjoyable rounds. The course opened in 1940 and expanded to 18 holes in 1988. Recent improvements have made the hilly challenge much more player friendly. Large, undulating greens and tree-lined fairways on this magnificent 6,500-yard layout provide for a glorious time. Five holes caress the Days River. A delicious Friday night fish-fry is offered. A PGA professional is on staff, and a large, renovated practice facility is available.

Reviewed By scholr27 - Gladstone, Michigan

Know plenty of people who golf this course and all are very satisfied. If you have any questions they can be answered by the staff who are all very helpful.

5. Rapid River Ski Trail

Us 41, Rapid River, MI 49878 +1 906-789-7862
Excellent
100%
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5 based on 2 reviews

The Rapid River ski trail offers five loops suitable for hiking and biking. The trail is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful in the Upper Peninsula, as it winds thru towering pine-covered ridges and drops into thick lowland swamps, offering a wide variety of challenges, from gentle, flat terrain to long, steep hills. The trailhead is located six miles north of Rapid River on US Highway 41.

Reviewed By Supercommuter - Traverse City, Michigan

This trail is close to central UP towns and always in good shape. A very popular place also. The first loop is not very challenging but the second may be too much for those just starting our. Better to go Loop 1 twice.

6. Irish Oaks Golf Course

6141 County Rd 420 21st Rd, Gladstone, MI 49837 +1 906-428-2616
Excellent
44%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
0%
Terrible
14%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 7 reviews

This is an 18 hole golf course that has 3,000 to 3,500 yards and a par of 37.

Reviewed By scholr27 - Gladstone, Michigan

Don't golf but the course looks good. Never usually overcrowded They usually have someone monitoring the course to make sure there are no problems. It is very close to the Restaurant for good food.

7. Haymeadow Creek Falls Trail

Rapid River, MI 49878 +1 906-789-7862
Excellent
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5 based on 1 reviews

Haymeadow Creek Campground is located approximately 11 miles from Rapid River. Take US-2 east from Rapid River 1.6 miles, turn left on Co. Road 509 and go north 9.4 miles to the entrance. The campground is near Haymeadow Creek and has direct access to two hiking trails.CampingThere are 15 large campsites, all with tables and fire rings. Drinking water is available at a hand pump and there are toilet facilities. Please be sure to pack out what you pack in, as there are no trash receptacles.FishingHaymeadow Creek is a high quality trout stream. Anglers will be challenged to catch the wary brook trout.HikingThere are two trailheads to the Haymeadow Falls Trail - one in the campground and another 1/4 mile north on Co. Road 509. The well-marked trail from the campground takes you along a winding path, across small bridges, through a heavily forested area lined with many varieties of ferns and wild plants. The trail of approximately 1 mile leads you along the creek to the footbridge at the Haymeadow Falls rapids. Continue on to the second trailhead and back along the road to the campground, or you can reverse this pattern by parking at the second trailhead, taking the trail to the rapids, and on to the campground and back to your car. There are blue markers along the entire length of the trail.A short 1/2 mile spur near the north trailhead connects you to the 40 mile Bay de Noc Grand Island National Recreation Trail, which is used for hiking and horseback riding.General InformationGroceries and gasoline are available in Rapid River. Haymeadow Creek Campground is a no-fee area.ContactAdditional information about the Haymeadow Campground and Falls Trail is available from the Rapid River Ranger District or the Forest Supervisor's Office.Information courtesy of the USDA Forest Service

Reviewed By 16kren2016 - Ingham County, Michigan

Medium scale hike. Not an easy path for someone who might have difficulty walking. We went early July, heavy mosquitos at 7 pm! Bring good spray! some slightly muddy trails, but you should be able to find a good stick to step on to not get covered in mud. The river and falls were very nice. Large sheets of rocks that the water fell over. Hooks up to a camping site, A few people were out fishing. Very quiet. Husband found nice Oyster Mushrooms along the trail. Would enjoy doing this one again at noon when bugs shouldn't be as bad.

8. Norway ORV Trail

Dickinson County, Rapid River, MI 49870 +1 906-789-7862

Norway ORV trail is located in Norway, MI and is labeled as an ORV trail.

9. Sand Point Lighthouse

16 Water Plant Rd, Escanaba, MI 49829-4052
Excellent
54%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 103 reviews

Sand Point Lighthouse

The Sand Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1867 to direct ships around the Sand point and into the deep water channel of the Escanaba Harbor. This building, with a 4th order Fresnel lens, has been restored to its original appearance, with a turn of the century interior. The building and grounds are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Reviewed By DoriJo - West Bend, Wisconsin

My husband and I were so impressed with the organization of materials in the museum and lighthouse and the story the artifacts told. The highlight of this museum were the two informative young men at the visitors' desks who willing offered their knowledge of the historic past. Their passion for what they do is an inspiration for all.

10. Forest Island ORV Trail

Menominee and delta Counties, Rapid River, MI 49887 +1 906-789-7862

Forest Island Trail is a 33 mile trail open to hiking, motorcycling, atving, and snowmobiling.

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