Squaw Beach is private, but not remote--just what we wanted when searching for a UP vacation home on the Big Lake. Imagine a cozy, but roomy-enough log cabin built of 10 inch native wood logs and hardwood floors on a huge, pristine Lake Superior bay with sugar sand beach. As you look straight north from the deck towards Canada across the world's biggest fresh water lake, the bay 'arms' rise to over 50 feet of forested cliffs on either side. Big Bay (the bay, not the village) is designated as a safe harbor of refuge because a working 1897 lighthouse perches atop one of these arms on the eastern point, and a welcoming harbor with a small marina is tucked in on the western side of the bay, a short stroll from here. We are dog friendly, and our Bucky absolutely loves splashing through the shallow water at lake's edge and romping on the beach!
More about the cabin itself: we have a loft area upstairs with twin beds, desk, and a futon/couch looking down to the great room. The master bedroom with a massive log 4-poster King is directly off the great room. The full kitchen has a pass-through bar (to the great room), there is a separate dining room/sitting area, a full bathroom with 3 sided shower, a small all-purpose room that works well to stow away suitcases, gear, etc. and a good-sized entry hall /mudroom. The great room looks through sliding glass doors to a deck overlooking the water. You can also watch the entire bay from indoors through the expanse of long windows on 3 sides of the cabin. When we bought this place from a local Finnish family who had built it themselves, we fell in love with the retro Yooper quality and we chose to do some remodeling that kept as much of that original charm as possible. while providing some more comforts. So, we replaced the counter tops with formica rather than granite, refurbished and kept the original cabinets, as well as other retro touches we liked. Our place is not fancy, but clean, functional, and comfortable with a "Wow" factor that one has to see to believe!
Scattered family vacation getaways and permanent homes are nestled along the beach shaded by a variety of Northern evergreens and hardwoods. There are wooded lots between our cabin and the closest cottages.
Across the private lane leading to the cabin is a forested area which backs up to a protected wetlands that stretches for more than a mile-- home to eagles, huge woodpeckers, as well as an abundance of wild ducks, Canadian geese and native wildlife. There are even moose sightings in the area from time to time, and their numbers are growing, according to a recent survey and some lucky residents around 'this neck of the woods.
The charming little village of Big Bay is on a slope about a mile and a half from here, offering most things needed in the way of restaurants (3), grocery/general store, gas, outdoor outfitting supplies, laundromat, and two historic churches. All of that, and not a single stop light! The uniqueness of Big Bay that made us want to own a place here is that it maintains the charm of a village at the end of a road--when you look at a map, the road stops here where the Huron Mountains take over. Not a drive-through community, so there are no franchises, just 'Mom and Pop' type of businesses that are friendly and helpful. If this is the ambiance you are looking for, you will be happy here.
The history of Big Bay is so very interesting and varied, ranging from Henry Ford's enterprises here to the exclusive Huron Mountain Club (over a century old) to movie-making to the rich tradition of the early lumberjacks of the U.P. Big Bay is also very proud of the one-of-a-kind Big Bay Health Camp, a beautiful place that welcomes special needs children every summer.
While you may just want to get away from city life and partake of the abundance of outdoor activities or simply unwind on the deck gazing at the ever-changing moods of Lake Superior, the city of Marquette (population around 20,000) is only 25 miles through the woods to the south and offers any service or amenity that you might want or need. Marquette is considered the 'hub' of the Upper Peninsula, home to Northern Michigan University, a regional medical complex, as well as sightseeing, museums, shopping, historical sights, golfing, restaurants, and way more.
Since you will need to pass by or through Marquette to reach Big Bay, we recommend that you make a stop at the Tourist Center in Marquette or the Visitors' Welcome Center in Harvey to arm yourselves with brochures on this entire area, so you won't need to waste a moment of your time here wondering what to do next in Michigan's awesome Upper Peninsula. The only problem you might encounter? So much to do--so little time! In our 20 years here, we are still exploring and discovering.
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