“Head of the Bay” – Baraga

So this is Baraga...

So this is Baraga...

The Head of the Bay in Baraga can be one of the neatest stretches of US-41 in Baraga county. The highway hugs the shoreline, cradling the Superior blue from the murky swamps and marshland to the South. The drive through can often hold surprise wildlife encounters. Ducks, geese, and shorebirds are common sights. Its also one of the few stretches of highway where a driver is fairly likely to glimpse a Bald Eagle, or perhaps a Swan. The plant life is also quite diverse, and the waters have been good fishing in years past.

The Baraga State Park is located off the southwest edge of the bay. Visitors are welcome, and can use the explorer guide as a helper for finding neat things to do in the area. A small roadside park is also located across the road from the park entrance, and is a good spot to stop with picnic tables, swing sets, and bathrooms. A small boat launch is also available.

The southeast end of the bay is known as the redrocks for reasons that would be quite obvious. Above the redrocks stands the Bishop Baraga Shrine. Worth a stop especially around sunset. My favorite time to visit, however, is well after dark once the stars and moon are out, the lights of Baraga flicker across the water, and the distant Baraga Prison casts an orange hue above the trees on the horizon. History buffs may wish to check out these pictures. The site includes many historic pictures of the bay area including an interesting pictures of ice buildup on the redrocks, 4th of July fireworks onlookers, and a water phenomenon known as a seiche.

The beach (finally…) is not bad. It is a bit lacking for sand, but it is long and, well, neat. For the 4th of July fireworks celebration, the beach is a VERY popular place to put down a blanket and watch the grandiose display over the bay. Swimming at the beach is not uncommon, but not popular. There are often small groups of children swimming while their parents watch from lawn chairs on the shore. The water is rarely warm, and its very shallow for quite a long way out. The bottom is very nice sand, however.  I would deem this a good spot for a traveler looking for a break from their drive. A quick dip in the chilly water is a refreshing feeling. The Head-of-the-Bay is not, however, a beach day destination…

If the UP were a snomobile, the speedometer would be right here...

If the UP were a snomobile, the speedometer would be right here...

In this picture, I stand with the L’Anse shoreline in the background heading up toward Pequaming.

My ball seems so naked in these early pictures...

My ball seems so naked in these early pictures...

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