whitefish bay national scenic byway

 

The Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway makes for a great drive as part of a day trip, through the Hiawatha National Forest. The east end of the byway begins at the national forest boundary west of Brimley. At that point the roadway name changes from Lakeshore Drive, to Whitefish Bay Scenic Byway. The road follows the shoreline of Lake Superior most of the way. There are a few spots where it moves further inland into the forest. The west end of the byway is at the intersection with M-123, south of Paradise.

lighthouseThe drive winds through the forest and along the shoreline of Whitefish Bay. There are secluded beaches and great expanses of clear water. In the winter, the frozen lake is breathtaking, the forest is silent. A number of stops make the trip even more interesting. Just outside Brimley is Iroquois Point, and the Point Iroquois Lighthouse. During the summer season, the lighthouse is open. From the top one can see the Canadian shoreline across the lake. Another spot near Brimley, is the Dancing Crane Coffee House. They roast coffee in the traditional way and offer snacks and gifts. It really is a cool stop.

Further west, the road runs along the shore of Tahquamenon Bay. For a short way it runs parallel with the North Country Trail. The trail crosses the road near Naomikong Creek, where travelers can stop, and enjoy the Naomikong Scenic Overlook. The drive continues west through pine and birch forests, all of it just plain beautiful. The byway ends in the west at M-123. The whole thing from Sault Ste. Marie to M-123 is only about 30 miles and takes a couple hours with all of the stops. Turning north on M-123 will take you to Paradise.

In Paradise you can pause for bit. The Inn and Gastropub is a favorite stop of mine. They have a sandwich called the Log Splitter. It is one of the best brisket sandwiches I have ever eaten, mouth-watering hardly describes it. From Paradise it is only a short drive to either historic Whitefish Point, or the Tahquamenon waterfalls.