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Discover St. Ignace

St. Ignace by Season

There is much to enjoy in and around it St. Ignace regardless of the season. The majesty of the Mackinac Bridge, the crystal clear waters of Lakes Michigan and Huron, and the historic waterfront village welcome new and returning visitors alike. Every season is the perfect season to experience the sense of serenity and tranquillity which embraces travellers as they drink in the view of the Straits of Mackinac. No one can visit just once! 

Spring

As the days lengthen and the snow turns first to slush and then to melting rivulets, the first signs of spring appear. The ice breaks up in great floes that drift away to the southeast. The sight of the Mackinac Bridge in the midst of the sheets and bergs out-flowing through the Straits is extraordinary and awe-inspiring. Flocks of birds fill the skies as they travel northward along their established migration routes across the Straits of Mackinac. As the ice releases its grip on the lakes, rivers and streams, fish also begin their virtually unseen breeding migrations. Smelt are one of the most popular of the spring fish; anglers dip their nets at night along local creek banks. Smelt parties and jamborees mark the unofficial arrival of spring. Soon after, trout fishermen haunt those same banks, checking their favorite holes and bends for this elusive fish. The weeks pass, the temperatures increase and the land dries; wildlife emerges from hibernation and the spring life cycle begins - white tailed does give birth to speckled their fawns, birds build their nests and start families. Leaves blossom on the bare trees and bushes revitalizing the once gray forests and turning them green. In May, mushroom hunters head out in search of morels, a delicacy prized by cooks and gourmands all over Michigan. Wildflowers flourish in a profusion of colors and fragrances: Dogtooth Lily, Trillium, Violets, Dutchmen’s Breeches, and Lady Slippers provide a continuum that dazzles the eye. Sunrises come earlier each morning, sunsets come later each evening and breezes warm the air, bringing dramatic cloud formations, born from the mighty waters. 

Summer

The summer season in St. Ignace and the surrounding area is a fun and exciting time for locals and visitors. So much to see and do and so little time to do it! St. Ignace takes great pride in hosting events including shows, festivals and other celebrations many of which take advantage of the pristine wilderness and shoreline settings.

Whether visitors have a few days or a week or two to explore the Mackinac Straits area, St. Ignace makes a perfect hub for an ideal get-away. The beaches and wind-swept dunes west of town rival anything a tropical island has to offer. And the water is unspoiled! No salt, no stinging jelly fish, no sharks. Just clean, soft sand, crystal clear fresh water and horizons that stretch for miles without a building in sight. Build sand castles, have a picnic lunch, and relax in the warm rays of the sun. 

Fishing enthusiasts have any number of opportunities at their finger tips: hire a charter fishing boat for day, cast a line in the waters adjacent to one of the many piers and docks, or launch a boat at any one of the local boat ramps.  Visits to local museums from Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island to Fort de Buade in downtown St. Ignace will help to satisfy the curiosity of even the most avid history buff. Music lovers will entertained by concerts held each Wednesday and Thursday evening at the Marina throughout the summer months.

Autumn

As the summer beauty of St. Ignace begins to fade, it is replaced by the brilliantly-hued autumn. Trees around the Lakes burst into a cacophony of color as the warmth of the summer gives way to the cool crisp days of autumn. The vivid golds, plums, reds and oranges are breathtaking. This is the perfect season to take a hike in the Hiawatha National Forest, fish for salmon in the Lakes, or stroll along the less crowded boardwalk downtown St. Ignace. Experience the adventure and activities available in the summer months but at a more relaxed, casual pace. The same fine dining opportunities and shopping excursions are available during the fall color season, with less hustle and bustle. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of St. Ignace in autumn.

Winter

St. Ignace is one of the Midwest’s premier winter destination spots. Snow quietly blankets the area beginning as early as November, offering a soft, white world of winter fun.

Groomed snowmobile trails lead from town through sleeping forests and fields, along ice-rimmed shores and across frozen waters. The trails are maintained in first-class condition by a local snowmobile club. A trail-locator-system operational throughout Mackinac County adds a layer of safety for all trail users. Local lodgings offer hospitality to snowmobilers with all the needed amenities. The finest cross-country skiing can be found just minutes away at the Sand Dune Trails of the Hiawatha National Forest. Skiers can choose long or short routes for either quick tour or an all-day adventure.

Silver Mountain Hill in St. Ignace maintains slopes for snowboarding, skiing and tubing. The return tow-rope for tubers makes it all fun and no work! Concessions are available.

Ice fishing is a fun activity for diehard anglers. Yellow perch, walleye, pike and muskellunge lurk beneath the ice of the Great Lakes as well as inland lakes and rivers putting a winter spin on the fishing challenge. Local suppliers and sporting goods stores can direct visitors to the best lakes and bays.

St. Ignace hosts a leg of the MSXRA snow-cross races each February at Kewadin Shores Casino. This sanctioned event features snowmobile racers on a course of incredible difficulty with hills, dips, hair-pin turns and every challenge imaginable.

Visitors are invited to join residents for the annual Frozen Yooper Softball Challenge that includes Ice Bowling, the Ice Chip Golf Scramble and other activities. The Labatt Blue l U.P. Pond Hockey Championship on the wild ice of Moran Bay is held the third week of February each year.