The lower peninsula of Michigan is shaped like a mitten, with its thumb jutting into Lake Huron. Today, I drove a loop around it!

Michigan Highway 25 runs from Bay City on the Saginaw River in the northwest of the thumb down to Port Huron on the St. Clair in the southeast. Driving northeast from Bay City, the highway begins by running through lovely farmland. Signs point to marinas, but the lake was nowhere in sight.

Hitting Bay Port, that changes, and I stopped here at the access point to look out over Wild Fowl Bay.

Highway 25 continues north through Caseville toward Port Austin. It is lined with houses and dotted with parks. Note: the Michigan State Parks require a day use permit; the local and county parks do not. While some of the state parks are pretty, there is not much difference in the view, and it probably isn’t worth the money.

Port Austin is the northern tip of the Michigan thumb. A cute town, I stopped at the Pointe Aux Barques lighthouse and read about the 1913 storm that sunk more than 25 ships on the lake.

Making my way back south, the lake was just along the road, separated only by a row of houses, both small cottages and huge mansions. I’d guess many are available on Airbnb. The water is a bright turquoise here, reminding me much of the Caribbean. 

I finally reached Port Huron, home of one of the busiest bridges between the US and Canada. Stopping at the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, I saw thousands of people floating on rafts down the lake into the St. Clair River. Apparently today was “Float Down Port Huron,” a really awesome local event. I wish I had planned better to have gone with!

The Michigan thumb is a lovely area, with cute small towns and stunning views of Lake Huron. I will be back!

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