Little Bay de Noc Recreation Area Hiawatha National Forest,
Geographic Location: southeast of
Rapid River, MI (45.84508, -86.98257)
Length: 1.3 miles
Difficulty: 1/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: July 2012
Overview: A lollipop loop along Little Bay de Noc to an historic hotel site.
Area Information: http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hiawatha/recarea/?recid=13282
Hike Route Map: http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=125488
Directions to the trailhead: From
, take US 2 east 3.1 miles to CR 513. Turn right on CR 513. Follow CR 513 5.4 miles to the Little Bay de Noc boat landing road. Turn right to access the boat landing, where the hike starts. Rapid River
The hike: Jutting off the northeast corner of
Green Bay near where it empties into Lake Michigan lie two large finger-type inlets: Big Bay de Noc and Little Bay de Noc. The bays’ names come from the Chippewa Indian word for bear. Between the two bays lies a 10-mile-wide peninsula that contains numerous scenic and recreational sites, the most interesting of which is the Peninsula Point Lighthouse located at the end of CR 513 18 miles south of US 2.
Established only in 1990,
’s Little Bay de Noc Recreation Area lies on the west side of the peninsula. The recreation area contains the Hunters Point Boat Ramp on the bay and a small campground, and several hiking trails go through the recreation area. The route described here takes visitors to the site of the historic Maywood Hotel. Hiawatha National Forest
|Trailhead for Bayshore Trail|
On the other side of the picnic area, the trail reenters the forest. The sign marking this point was somewhat obscured by vegetation on my visit, but if you walk directly across the picnic area you can hardly miss the trail. Over the next 0.3 miles several side trails exit left for the campground and right for the bay. All of these trails quickly dead-end, so you should continue straight on the main trail.
|View of Little Bay de Noc|
|Maywood History Trail|
0.8 miles into the hike, you reach the signed site of the Maywood Hotel. Built in 1904, the Maywood Hotel was a popular summer retreat for wealthy families from cities such as
Chicago. There were no roads in this area at that time, so visitors would arrive by boat. The hotel was famous for its aquatic recreation and restaurant. Today, only the foundation remains. Take a minute to imagine what this area would have looked like in its heyday.