The Great Lakes, islands, and Upper Peninsula are all part of the Michigan landscape. These geographic elements divide the state into several distinct sections. Learn about the differences between each area in this article. You’ll be surprised to learn just how much the Great Lakes have shaped this great state. Also learn about the Native American tribes that live here and the impact that the Great Lakes have on Michigan’s economy.
Why is Michigan one state divided into two parts, and what happened? The Upper Peninsula is part of Wisconsin, but has little to do with the state. The state essentially split into two as a result of a dispute over the Toledo Strip, a land strip four hundred and sixty-eight miles long between Ohio and Michigan. Although Wisconsin is closer geographically, it isn’t a part of Michigan.
The Upper Peninsula, located in northern Michigan, is a heavily forested region with high mountains. The Porcupine Mountains are among the oldest in North America and form the watershed between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Mount Arvon, at 1,979 feet above sea level, is the state’s highest point. The Upper Peninsula is home to fewer than three hundred thousand people. But even though it is relatively mountainous, the climate is temperate and humid.
Michigan’s climate is relatively mild and temperate. In the south, the soil is fertile and conducive to agriculture. However, in the northern portion of the state, it is rocky, and not very suitable for agriculture. The proximity of lakes helps temper the climate and make Michigan more pleasant. The principal forest trees include basswood, maple, elm, butternut, walnut, poplar, tamarack, and locust.
Michigan is located in the Midwest region of the U.S., and is famous for its five large lakes. The state has two separate peninsulas – the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower by the Mackinac Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. The Detroit region is the home of the American auto industry and Motown Records. If the Upper Peninsula is divided, the population would be much smaller than Wyoming.
Straits of Mackinac
Why is Michigan one state divided into two parts and a single region? There are two major landmasses in Michigan – the Upper Peninsula, which straddles Lake Superior and stretches eastward into northern Wisconsin, and the Lower Peninsula, which stretches northward into Ohio and Indiana. In between them, they are connected by the Mackinac Bridge. The Mackinac bridge spans the Straits of Mackinac, which separate Lake Michigan from Lake Superior.
The Upper Peninsula is technically a part of Ohio, but this has little to do with the state’s boundaries. The Upper Peninsula was originally a part of Ohio, but the timing of the annexation – in 1833 – caused a border war between Michigan and the UP. Both sides argued over this strip of land, but eventually agreed upon the boundary lines. The boundaries were redrawn in 1915 and granite pillars were placed along the border.
The southern boundary of Michigan is shared with Ohio and Indiana, while its western boundary is almost entirely water. This explains why it is divided into two regions. The western boundaries, however, are almost entirely water, with the Upper Peninsula sharing borders with Lake Michigan and Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Straits of Mackinac separates the two regions. This is what gives each area its unique identity. But what does the history behind these borders mean for Michigan?
Today, the population of Michigan is urban, concentrated in the industrialized southern lower peninsula. Its socioeconomic makeup has created a state that is equal parts affluent and poor. Moreover, the state government coordinates a vast network of public programs. As a result, Michigan’s public higher education system is regarded as one of the best in the country. If you’re looking for a good reference on Michigan, the World Almanac Library of States is a great resource.
Native American tribes
Because of the numerous Native American tribes that live in Michigan, the state has been largely impacted by colonization. This has left Michigan with a social and political makeup that reflects the diversity of its native population. For example, some tribes consider the state’s southern and northern sections to be one large country, while others view it as two separate states. Regardless of which way Michigan is divided, there is an important historical connection between Native American tribes and the state.
Although the United States has made some attempts to improve racial relations, these efforts are far from perfect. While American Indians live mainly in rural areas, only five percent live in reservations. The American Indian population in Michigan is now estimated at around 5 percent – less than half of the number that lived here before European contact. However, these numbers are a far cry from the past, when the Indian population was thought to be at its highest.
The recent growth of Native American populations in the United States has prompted debates about the definition of “indigenous” populations. The National Congress of American Indians and the National Tribal Chairmen’s Association (NTCA) have both stated that the preferred term for these groups is “American Indian.” The NSAI reports that these communities are still classified as an indigenous population, and they are a distinct minority.
The history of these groups in Michigan is complex and tragic. In the 19th century, Native Americans were forced onto reservations and killed. The ensuing battles led to the passage of the Indian Removal Act, which forced Native Americans to live west of the Mississippi River. They marched in brutal conditions, breaking treaties, and fighting for their land. The resulting racial tensions and conflicts led to the creation of reservation land in Michigan.
Economic impact of Great Lakes
Recreational fishing and hunting have a high economic impact on the region. The Talhelm Report on the Great Lakes concluded that the net benefits of these activities exceed the costs, by 70 percent. Kelch et al. (2006) have estimated that the economic impact of Great Lakes recreational fishing and hunting is more than $23 billion per year. In addition, the economic value of these activities can be calculated as net consumer surplus. The economic value of Great Lakes recreation has significant recreational and commercial benefits, but the cost of protection is high.
There are many limitations to the study. The data in the dissertation was not separated by modes of fishing, so WTP values are not appropriate to assess the economic value of the entire recreational fishing resource. However, the values for additional fish per trip are relevant for estimating the net economic impact of the fishing resources in the Great Lakes Basin. Further, the values per fish are relevant in assessing changes in quality of the resources. Moreover, these values do not account for all kinds of recreational activities in the region.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River have long been important for transport and trade. Europeans settled in the region and founded trading posts along this vast marine highway. They provided the necessary infrastructure for commerce in the pre-railroad era. Today, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region is the industrial hub for both the U.S. and Canada, generating combined GDP of $6 trillion. If these two countries were independent countries, it would be the third largest in the world.
Tourism in Michigan
Approximately 80 percent of international visitors to Michigan come alone. Another 10 percent come with a family or associate, and the remaining five percent travel with a spouse/partner. In fact, Michigan’s geography is perfect for international visitors. There are plenty of options to meet the needs of business travelers, from skiing and water sports to hiking and fishing. With two distinct sides, you can have a world-class vacation while spending time with friends and family.
In 1957, the Mackinac Bridge opened and made the Upper Peninsula easily accessible. This made Michigan’s two halves a year-round travel destination. The bridge also allowed people to cross between the parts of Michigan, making the state more appealing for tourists. In addition to the great outdoors, Michigan has several natural resources. One of these is the beautiful Lake Superior. This water body is the largest in the world.
A major public-private umbrella agency, the Michigan Economic Development Council, commissions independent firms to study the effectiveness of the Pure campaign. The “Pure Michigan” campaign generated 700,000 trips and $188 million in new visitor spending. That meant an additional $2.11 million in state tax revenue. But the Mackinac Center’s drumbeat has sparked more scrutiny. Two state senators and the Michigan attorney general recently commissioned an independent study of the campaign. The study revealed that the program has produced record-high returns.
The Michigan landscape has a distinct personality. It is surrounded by four Great Lakes – Lake Michigan and Lake Superior – and more than 11,000 inland lakes. As a result, residents are never more than six miles from a natural water source. Both Detroit and Grand Rapids are cultural centers in the American North. Museums in both cities celebrate the history and legacy of the automobile industry. The R&B music scene also flourishes here.
Regardless of whether you live in Chicago, Detroit, or Grand Rapids, the people of Michigan are determined and grit. It’s their determination and grit that makes the state of Michigan so unique. If you don’t visit Michigan, you’re missing out on a lot. So, what are you waiting for? Get out of your comfort zone and travel to Michigan!
When it comes to food, Grand Rapids has a lot to offer. This vibrant city is home to many fine restaurants, cafes, and sports facilities. In winter, the city can receive heavy amounts of snow. Despite the cold weather, visitors can enjoy the city’s nightlife, ice skating, and hockey. Here’s why Grand Rapids should be on your bucket list:
You can’t go wrong with the Fulton Street Farmers Market. It’s been around for over 100 years, and each week, over a hundred vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and even specialty items. You can visit the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm. You can purchase fresh produce and take home a few items for your kitchen. If you’re not feeling too ambitious, you can take advantage of the market’s convenient online payment options.
The city’s reputation as America’s Craft Beverage Capital and Best Beer City have earned it national recognition. Its low cost of living makes it a great place to live. Grand Rapids offers fun in all seasons. From apple picking in the fall to ice skating in the winter, this Michigan city has it all. It’s also home to the state’s second largest airport, which offers nonstop flights to 31 domestic destinations.
For art lovers, there’s the Fulton Street Museum, which contains over 5,000 items of artwork. You can see Renaissance works of art as well as contemporary sculptures. If you’re looking for something a little different, you can visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The museum was founded in 1854, and spans three floors. It offers exhibits covering Michigan history, science, and culture. In addition to art, you can visit the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives.
You’ll want to spend time downtown, where ArtPrize takes place each fall. Artists from around the world display their work in Grand Rapids, and visitors vote for the works they like best. This festival has thousands of art displays dotted throughout downtown. The local artists often stand nearby their works and talk to curious children about their work. But if you can’t afford the hotel, make sure you book your stay early.
Visiting the museum is an excellent idea for history buffs, as it has a planetarium and a carousel. The museum also offers an educational presentation about the city’s history, including its relationship with Native Americans. One permanent exhibit, American Indians of West Michigan, tells the history of the native people in the region. The Anishinabek tribe has lived in the area for centuries, and are thought to be direct descendants of the Ojibwa and Ottawa tribes. They have a deep connection with the land.
If you’re looking to explore the history of Grand Rapids, it is important to make a stop at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. This museum was opened in 1982 and is dedicated to the 38th United States President. The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as artifacts from the Smithsonian and Presidential Library System.
If you’ve never been to Grand Rapids, you’re missing out on a lot of fun! This multicultural city is filled with unique shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Visitors will have an opportunity to explore the city during all seasons, and enjoy all that the city has to offer. If you’re on vacation, make sure to check out some of the many attractions. The city is perfect for anyone.
When you’re in Grand Rapids, you can enjoy the John Ball Zoo, which opens late in March and stays open until late in the winter. The zoo features over 1,000 animals in habitats that mimic their natural environment as much as possible. There’s also an amphitheater, petting zoo, and zip line, and you can try your hand at a ropes course.
When in Grand Rapids, grab a burger from Patty Matters Food Truck. The burgers here are amazing and you can customize them with your own choice of toppings. If you’re not a fan of burgers, check out the Voodoo Foodoo, which serves up some tasty treats like the Voorito. The Voorito is a great way to start the day, and the cheese curtain on the outside is definitely an extra bonus!
If you love sandy beaches, you’ll love Grand Haven, Michigan. The city is a charming lakefront community located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The city’s boardwalk runs along the harbor to the south pier and the Grand Haven State Park beach. You can view synchronized light and water shows at the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. For a relaxing walk on the shore, check out the Rosy Mound Natural Area.
If you’d prefer to stay in the heart of the action, there are plenty of lodging options in the area. In addition to the historic Khardomah Lodge, you can find a cozy cottage near the beach. The historic property is also an official Michigan Historic Site, featuring 15 rooms and a shared bath. Guests can rent a room or suite for the ultimate beach retreat. The Washington Street Inn is another great option.
Visitors can also catch a trolley ride along the waterfront. The trolley starts at the Chinook Pier and travels the city’s waterfront, east town, and downtown. You can also check out the Ottawa County Heritage Center, which is an educational cultural center for the area. It strives to bring the local history to life and to create an environment that’s fun for everyone. The downtown area also boasts unique and authentic stores, like Blueberry Haven.
A musical fountain in the center of Grand Haven, Michigan is another must-see. Located near the Grand Haven State Park, this fountain shoots water from more than 1,000 nozzles to produce beautiful formations of water. This fountain has entertained visitors since 1962. The fountain was created by Dr. William Creason, a visionary and former mayor of the city. It is currently running nightly, making it one of the most unique attractions in the town.
Another fun activity is a beach day. This city has several beaches, and the water temperature at the southern end of the peninsula is warm enough for children to enjoy the water. If you’re looking for a more active adventure, you can rent a kayak and go kite-boarding on Lake Michigan. You can also rent a boat and try wind surfing or kite-surfing. Those who prefer the water are sure to love the kite festival every year, which takes place every August.
The Grand Trunk Railway ran along the waterfront, and the town’s depot is now a museum. The Story and Clark Piano Company was based in Grand Haven for nearly two decades, but its smokestack was destroyed in the Southern Great Lakes Derecho of 1998. The Eagle-Ottawa Leather Company, which was founded in 1838, is also located here. In 1837, George “Baby Face” Nelson and Homer Van Meter committed the first bank robberies in Grand Haven.
If you’re interested in visiting an art gallery, Grand Haven has several locations. The Grand Haven Art Museum has a beautiful collection of works by local artists. The town’s downtown area is home to several art galleries, including Gallery Uptown. The gallery hosts several monthly themed exhibitions, typically featuring mixed media and mixed-media art. Most exhibitions are free to view, and there are often free workshops available for visitors. You can also participate in virtual art workshops and watch blown-glass demonstrations at the Kirby House.
The beautiful sandy shores of Grand Haven, Michigan are the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. Grand Haven is also full of attractions for families, including the renowned Grand Haven Art Fair. The city’s boardwalk runs along the harbor and to the Grand Haven State Park beach and the south pier. You can visit the 1839 Grand Haven Lighthouse, check out the Grand Haven Musical Fountain, and visit the city’s historic sites. At night, you can gaze at the stars from the Grand Haven Musical Fountain.
A historic steam locomotive, the Pere Marquette 1223, was built in 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works. It hauled freight between Toledo and Chicago before World War II. The locomotive has been cosmetically restored and is one of two remaining Berkshire steam locomotives. Built by Lima, these locomotives had a top speed of 70 MPH. It’s a fun exhibit for the entire family.