Ore Dock to Presque Isle
Located in the Lower Harbor and adjacent to the Ore Dock is Ripley’s Rock (actually, a small group of rocks). They are named after Captain Calvin Ripley of the small sailing vessel FUR TRADER out of Sault Ste. Marie. Captain Ripley first discovered these rocks during a storm when seeking refuge in 1830. He later used them as a place to meet local Native Americans trading furs. Because of the deeper water surrounding the rocks early ships tied up to Ripley’s Rock when delivering goods and livestock to early Marquette.
Iron Ore Dock
Since 1854 there have been numerous docks built in Marquette for the loading of Iron Ore from the mines 10 miles to the west. Only two remain. The newest is the Lower Harbor Ore Dock which was built around 1937. During the Cold War with the Soviet Union it was feared that if the locks at Sault Ste. Marie were ever rendered unusable the United States would be unable to get Iron Ore down to the Foundries in the Lower Lakes so a railroad was built to Escanaba and ore was shipped by rail. The dock was closed in 1957.
Thill’s Fish Market and Fish Dock
The source of locally caught Whitefish, Salmon, and other sea food products. Thill’s sets out multiple trap nets along the coastline from Marquette to the Huron Mountains. The Fish Dock is privately owned is the location for several private boats and cabins.
L’Attitudes Café and Bistro
Located at the corner of Washington and Lakeshore, L’Attitudes is an excellent eatery with both inside and street side tables. A great place for lunch while watching the Lower Harbor activity.
Elwood Mattson Park
Located just north of the ore dock in Marquette’s Lower Harbor, the 22 acre Mattson Lower Harbor Park has a large grassy open space area, park benches, picnic tables, Kid’s Cove Playground (a very large wooden play structure built through community donations and volunteers), an architecturally designed period concession/restroom facility, boat ramp, and a large nearby breakwater. The shoreline bike path runs through the park and an illuminated walkway with period style lighting parallels the waterfront along the bulkhead. In just a few years (the park was dedicated July 24, 1989),the large grassy area has become the City’s most popular location for special events, playing host to such activities as The Seafood Festival, the International Food Festival, Art on the Rocks, concerts, fireworks, and other large gatherings.
Coaster II Coastal Schooner
Offering sailing adventures daily. Coaster II is a wooden hulled, gaff-rigged schooner with topsails. Built in 1933 at the Goudy And Stevens shipyard in Bothbay, Maine. Coaster II is a well known vessel among traditional boatbuilders and sailers. She has quite a history spanning over 75 years on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, both sides of the equator and now on the Great Lakes.
She is the middle child of 3 sisters, Coasters I and Coaster III. Coaster II lives in three different times. Designed as a 19th century coasting schooner, the “pickup truck” of coastal trade. She is authentic with a flying jibboom, cat heads, a real lunenberg windless, deadeyes, sway hooks, carved taff rails and other features not found on vessels dated after 1900. She’s also a vessel built as a yacht near the end of the “golden age of yachting” evidenced by her bronze fittings, mahogany hull, teak decks and elegant lines.
Isle Royale Queen III
Offer daily 2 hour cruises in the summer; this is a narrative cruise of 2 hours detailing the history of Marquette, shipping, Presque Isle and nearby islands, the Ore docks, the geology, and some beautiful homes and cottages. It gives you that on shore view of this magnificent little city of the north. She is an 81 foot cruise ship that earned her pay shuttling passengers to Isle Royale for many years. Dinner cruises are also offered.
The U.S.S. Darter-Dace Memorial honors crews of two World War II submarines, largely Upper Peninsula men. By extension it commemorates all Navy submarine crews. A fascinating computer-controlled diorama depicts the WWII Battle for Leyte Gulf in the Philippine Islands, October 23-24, 1944. History’s largest naval battle, it inflicted crippling damages to the Japanese navy. Lights point out ships and their positions as the battle unfolded, to dramatic narration. The Darter and Dace submarines played a key role in the battle’s success.
Ships alongside the Wall
Many large Great Lakes and ocean going vessels stop by Marquette and tie up at the wall. Research Vessels, Cruise Ships, Historical Ships, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Ships are all see here especially during festivals.
The Picture shown to your left is of the Danish Bark” Europa” that visited here in 2010 as many tall ships do in the summer. For your information- a Bark is a type of sailing ship.
Cinder Pond Marina
Home for several private sailboats, cruisers, and transient vessels. Contains slips for 101 vessels.
Lake Superior Theatre
Summer theatre featuring local talent and students from the Northern Michigan University department of Performing Arts. Offers approximately 5 different summer plays.
U. S. Coast Guard Station Marquette
The Coast Guard Station Marquette is headquarters for approximately 30 personnel and is charged with a search and rescue mission for mariners on Lake Superior and the local area. Vessels include a 45’ Rigid Hull Jet Drive and a 25’ Rigid Hull Inflatable.
Lower Harbor Breakwall and Light
The Lower Harbor Breakwall is a very popular spot for fishing for coho, steelhead, lake trout, and whitefish. You can walk on it ½ mile out into the harbor. It’s a pleasant place for a stroll on a nice summer evening. But it must be avoided when its stormy and the winds are high. It offers excellent views of the harbor, city, and the Marquette Lighthouse. There is also a light on the end. The is actually a tunnel that runs underneath that allowed early keepers to tend to the oil fired light at the lighthouse in stormy conditions.
Marquette Maritime Museum
Began in 1980 as the Marquette Maritime Museum Association, the museum was opened in the old City Waterworks building in 1982. The building is a one story, stone, hipped-roof Richardsonian Romanesque style structure with a parapeted front gable and rounded arch windows. Houses the best collection of Lighthouse Len’s on the Great Lakes. Also. Birch Bark Canoes, Edmund Fitzgerald exhibits, info on Great Lakes shipwrecks, rescue and passenger vessels, and early life-saving and Coast Guard histories.
McCarty’s Cove, flanked by the red U.S. Coast Guard Station lighthouse on its south shore, serves as a reprieve from hot summer days, where city and county residents alike take advantage of the cool, but tolerable, water temperatures and the cooling effects of the lake-generated sea breeze The beach has picnic areas, grills, children’s playgrounds and lifeguard stands.
Located just to the north of McCarty’s Cove are 3 huge granite rocks located only about 200 feet from shore. Many sea gulls inhabit these rocks that are known for Marquette High School graduating classes painting their year on their face. During windy days dangerous currents set up in the narrow channel between the rocks and the shore.
An excellent eatery for lunch and dinner. Has a large menu featuring sandwiches, dinners, and excellent pastries and baked goods.
City owned facility for ice hockey and other events. Has 2 ice hockey or other skating surfaces most of the year.
Northern Michigan University Domed Football Stadium. The largest wooden dome structure in the world.
Dead River Bridge
River Du Mort was named by the early French Explorers after Native American Burial Grounds along its banks. Watch for fishermen at the mouth during the salmon and steelhead run seasons.
Presque Isle Ore Dock
This ore dock that towers above Marquette’s Upper Harbor Marina was built in 1911 and is still serves the iron-ore industry today. The taconite pellets arrive to the Presque Isle Dock via railroad ore-cars and are dumped into steel bins underneath the railroad tracks. Large metal chutes then swing down to load the pellets into the loading ore carriers. The dock can hold up to 100 rail cars. Annually nearly 7-8 million tons of ore is shipped from this dock. It juts out into Lake Superior nearly a quarter of a mile and is over 100 feet high.
Retired Lake Superior and Ishpeming Locomotives used to pull the long iron ore trains from the mines down to the ore carriers at the Presque Isle Ore Dock.
Presque Isle Park
Marquette’s recreational crown jewel, special attention is given here to Presque Isle Park. The popular regional facility is located on Presque Isle (“almost” an island), a 323 acre forested oval shaped headland/peninsula which juts into Lake Superior in the northern tip of the City. Presque Isle is known throughout the United States for its natural beauty The “Island”, as it is referred to by locals, has had many visitors starting with the prehistoric people 3,000 to 7,000 years ago. Early residents of Marquette traveled there by boat since there was no bridge over the Dead River. Originally it was designated as a government lighthouse reservation. Through the efforts of Peter White, a bill was passed on July 12, 1886, by the United States Congress deeding the Island to the City of Marquette. White built a road from the City to the park and planted the tall Lombardy poplar trees which line Lakeshore Boulevard. Today, Presque Isle Park is Marquette’s most beloved attraction, offering residents year-round outdoor recreation, serene settings for nature observation and education, and cultural experiences. Picnic areas, foot paths, the bike path, and many deer are found all over the island.
Presque Isle Breakwall and Light
Nearly ½ mile long the Presque Isle Breakwall and Light has recently been gated to keep people off during storms. If the weather is good and the waves not breaking over it’s a nice stroll to get a better view to the north of Presque Isle.
Chief Kawbawgam’s Grave
Chief Charlie Kawbawgam was the last Chief of the local Native American Ojibways that lived at Indian Town at the south edge of Marquette near Gaines rock. He died in 1902 and was buried at this spot which is one of the most beautiful on the Marquette shoreline.
Cliff Viewing Platforms
Offering some outstanding views of the Cliffs of Presque Isle and the White Rocks.
Black Rocks and Cove
The “Black Rocks” are the rocks found between Sunset Point and the Cove. The early French explorers were the first to notice these rocks and referred to them as “Metallic” but they are actually some of the oldest rocks in the world. Nearly 4 billion years old. The “Cove” is the area at the south end where this is a cliff that during the warmer months youngsters jump into the crystal clear water that is nearly 30 feet deep. A beautiful little rock beach is also found nearby.
Sunset Point- Granite,
Gull, Middle, and Partridge Islands
Sunset point offers some picnic tables, grill and small pavilion and some excellent views of Granite Island, which is 8 miles north and often looks like a submarine, Gull, Middle, and Partridge island to the west.
Log Pavilion and Beach
The City of Marquette built and operates the log pavilion where you can find restrooms, more information on things to do in the city and an excellent resting spot. On the beach adjacent you’ll see many surfers and kayakers.
Presque Isle Ice Cream Stand
Open in the summer they offer a variety of some scrumptious and favorable ice cream products.
World’s Largest Float Copper Display
On display in Presque Isle Park, thanks to the vision of the late Upper Peninsula historian and educator, Fred Rydholm. Weighing more than 40 tons, the natural copper slab is approximately 15 feet in diameter and several feet thick. Float copper is naturally formed and has been carried or “floated” along by the last glacier. The massive piece of copper was discovered in 1997 on private property near Hancock, Michigan.
Moosewood Nature Center and Bog Walk
Moosewood is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Nature in this region. They operate a small center and gift shop from the Old Shiras Pool building. Hundreds of people have enjoyed the outdoor experience of taking a “bog walk” tour with MooseWood Nature Center. Several species of birds, amphibians, and mammals inhabit this area. Even Moose have been seen frequenting the bog. Many different different species of flowers, trees, and shrubs are found here.