The next day thunderstorms were predicted. Their time of arrival seemed to shift each time we checked the weather. Noon, then late afternoon and then back to noon. We hitched as the skies suddenly darkened and were happy to be road-ready by the time the thunder began.
Our next stop was Burt Lake State Park. This park shared much with our previous Michigan state park stops. Once again, this is an older park. The campground is studded with mature growth oak and maple trees making it both shady and attractive. Unlike Interlochen, the sites at Burt Lake were large and well-spaced. Overall this park was a bit smaller with about 300 sites, still pretty big.
Burt Lake is one of Michigan’s largest inland lakes. Formed over 25,000 years ago as glaciers carved a series of lakes across the north, it is a vast and lovely lake. The campground has extensive beach and this makes it another great place for families to frolic. I was tempted to swim myself.
Our intent while here was to visit Charlevoix and Petoskey. And that we did. Charlevoix was the most distant and we headed there first. Unlike Frankfort and the Crystal Lake area, both Charlevoix and Petoskey were quite developed. Too developed really for our taste.
We sauntered through Charlevoix’s downtown lined with shops and down to the marina. The marina waterfront was nicely built out as a park with an amphitheater, benches, picnic tables and a lovely promenade. We walked its length and then turned back to the main street. It was lunchtime and a little gourmet deli shop was just what we needed. Dakota and I waited outside the shop and were treated to the drawbridge opening.
The waterway to Lake Michigan beckoned and we strolled out towards a red lighthouse. Next to the lighthouse was a very nice beach and park. We enjoyed our sandwiches watching children splash in the waves.
Heading back to our truck, we passed some lovely old houses in excellent condition.
We headed back north towards Petoskey and stopped off at a beautifully maintained rest stop. People were combing the beach for Petoskey stones and there was a memorial to seven Air Force personnel based out of Westfield AFB in Massachusetts who lost their lives during a training exercise in 1971.
Charlevoix had fulfilled our desire for traffic and downtown shopping so we headed back to our campground. Dakota and I reconnoitered the beach area while Jim took a nap.