Gentle Hikes of Upper Michigan: Upper Michigan's Most Scenic Lake Superior Hikes under 3 Miles

Gentle Hikes of Upper Michigan: Upper Michigan's Most Scenic Lake Superior Hikes under 3 Miles

by Ladona Tornabene, Melanie Morgan, Lisa Vogelsang

Some of the best scenery in Michigan is along Lake Superior. Use this book to find great hikes under three miles. It's ideal for anyone with limited time in the area, senior citizens, families with small children and people with physical challenges.


Some of the best scenery in Michigan is along Lake Superior. Use this book to find great hikes under three miles. It's ideal for anyone with limited time in the area, senior citizens, families with small children and people with physical challenges.

Editorial Reviews

The Daily Mining Gazetter - GARRETT NEESE
Book offers guide to U.P.'s accessible hi.ghliigt.
DMG Writer
DULUTH - A 12-mile hike with steep inclines could be heaven, under the right circumstances. But those aren't likely to include being aged, infirm, pregnant, or just plain pressed for time.
Which guarantees a built-in audience for "Gentle Hikes of Upper Michigan: Upper Michigan's Most Scenic Lake Superior Hikes Under 3 Miles," the third book by Ladona Tornabene, Lisa Vogelsang and Melanie Morgan.
The book includes details of almost 60 trails in the Upper Peninsula, including their location, length, incline, highlights and wheelchair accessibility. Other sections cover short scenic walks, waysides and scenic locales, picnic areas, health benefits of walking, and special sections for those traveling in RVs or people with physical challenges.
"The whole thing is just making the outdoors accessible for everyone," Vogelsang said. Tornabene and Vogelsang began discussing the first book, about Minnesota's North Shore, in 2000. The next year, they set out with new equipment, including surveyor's wheels and a clinometer for measuring inclines.
The inspiration came in part from their own travails. Vogelsang, a two-time member of the U.S. Olympics volleyball team, has had five ankle surgeries, and suffers from arthritis.
Vogelsang's ankle injuries that summer forced her and Tornabene to bring on another person for the hikes; Morgan, a former account and outdoor enthusiast who they knew from church.
"She wound up being a wonderful addition, so we kept her on for the other books as well ... she's a wonderful writer and photographer," Vogelsang said.
After a book on hiking in Wisconsin, the trio tackled the Upper Peninsula. Researching and writing the book took two years, with at least two of the writers present for each trail visit.
"We hike everything," Vogelsang said. "We do the hiking, do the measuring. We do each one twice just to make sure."
A map drawn by Vogelsang accompanies each route. In some cases she incorporated elements of existing maps; many, though, are solely the product of her own measurements.
Tornabene and Vogelsang both hold Ph.D.'s; Tornabene is an associate professor of health education and certified health education specialist at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, while Vogelsang is an assistant professor of psychology and American Sign Language at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.
But while the write-ups are informative, Vogelsang promises they won't be a chore to read.
"We bring it down to Reader's Digest level, not an academic paper, which would be daunting for most folks, not to mention stiff," Vogelsang said.
The book sums up the beginning of the Bond Falls trail like so:
"Trailhead begins near information kiosk on 6'8"-wide paved path. "Continue on path for 500' to boardwalk area and viewing of falls. Spectacular! There are rails along this boardwalk that are equipped with fencing and rails. A picturesque pond with stair access serves as the base if this incredible set of falls."
Asked to name a favorite spot, Vogelsang commiserates briefly with Tornabene before targeting the Nara Nature Park.
"That's the one thing that really did impress us, how Mr Nara has gifted that land to Houghton, when he could have , sold it for millions of dollars Not only that, it's wheelchair-accessible," she said
Vogelsang would later expand hat to the state parks, such as I McLain, FL Wilkins, or the Porcupine Mountains. And the naional parks. And the Black Rivr Harbor Area.
Oh, and don't forget Whitefish Point.
"It's hard to pick a favorite" she admitted. "It's like 'Who's our favorite child?"
All three authors are also members of the Superior Hikrig Trail Association, which tocks the North Shore book in is gift shop.
"It's a really good seller for is," said executive director Gayle Coyer.
Coyer said the books provide good service for outdoors- lovers seeking more accessible experiences.
"It's a great guide for people who want to hike, and, for whatver reason, want to do the hikes that aren't as challenging," she said. "It really gets you out to a lot of natural areas.
In the future, Vogelsang said, she may work with other authors on volumes covering othr Great Lakes and states,
though there have been no definite plans.
One thing is set: the authors will be coming to the Upper Peninsula for book signings dining the week of Sept. 25. The Houghton County Historical society will be one of the stops, with other areas to include Keweenaw County
"We're photographers, and we know they should also have good color at that time, so it's a win-win," Vogelsang said
For more information, go:to or call 1-800-678-7006.
Muskegon Chronicle - DENNIS TANNER
Take time to plan hike in UP.
Over the years a lot of coaches have told athletes who suffered a minor injury to "walk it off"
Although not the best medical advice in some cases, the phrase was meant to keep the player walking in the hopes he would stop thinking about a minor injury.
Walking remains an important activity today, with scores of studies suggesting it is the best all-around exercise for everyone, including those who can't engage in more vigorous activities.
And while there are perhaps more convenient outdoor spots, you'd be hard pressed to find a more beautiful space to get your exercise and be alone with your thoughts than when stepping along the Lake Superior shore.
"Gentle Hikes of Upper Michigan" details nearly 60 walks under three miles in the Lake Superior region, which is filled with forests, waterfalls and sweeping vistas. The 272-page book by Ladona Tornabene, Lisa Vogelsang and Melanie Morgan is priced at $14.95 and available from Adventure Publications,
Each of the hikes is rated for difficulty and descriptions outline information on views, beaches and changes in surfaces and elevations on the routes. There are plenty of maps and directions on how to reach the trails and paths where your starting point is also your finishing point.
This guide is not aimed at those who own hiking boots and desire to traverse large tracts of land. The targeted audience is those of us who like to meander, traipse and stroll, who are walking with young children or who have physical challenges.
The book would be an excellent holiday gift for the casual walker in your family or among your friends. And I always think that anything that prompts thoughts of summer during the dead of winter is well worth its price.

Product Details

Adventure Publications, Incorporated
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Ladona Tornabene, Ph.D., CHES is an Associate Professor of Health Education and Certified Health Education Specialist at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Her focus lies in confronting the number one public health problem in America today—lack of physical activity. This fact, combined with what she knows about nature’s ability to reduce stress, fuels a passion. That passion is to promote better health through opening the outdoors to people of all abilities. She believes the marvelous scenery that the Lake Superior Region boasts is prime incentive for accomplishing such a mission. Though an advocate for active lifestyles, she desires for people to know that health is more than just being in good physical shape. Health has a psychological, social, environmental and spiritual dimension as well. Her advice? For better health on the inside—Get outside!

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