This is one of the most beautiful spots in Michigan that most casual travelers have never heard of. It is also a rather remote spot and will require investing the better part of a full day to visit. At Point Abbaye’ the waves of Lake Superior pound and crash on the wind-swept rocks. The Huron Mountains are on the horizon. At this unspoiled place, you can almost hear the rigging of the tall ships of French explorers, as they entered this magical region 400 years ago. If you look to your left, you can see the iron range of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and to your right, you can see the wilds of the Huron Mountains. This is one of the few places in Michigan where both are visible.
Point Abbaye’ is at the very end of a small peninsula that juts out into Lake Superior between Keweenaw Bay and Huron Bay. The trip involves an eleven-mile drive on an old sandy two track, or “snake trail”, as we used to call them. This track is ROUGH, and your top speed will be about 15 miles per hour. You cruise through the wilderness past a few isolated homes, and through the silence, broken only by bird calls and the music of Lake Superior. At the end of this drive, you will enter a small parking area that is not paved. There are rustic outhouses. It is entirely possible that you will be the only one there.
There are two or three hiking trails marked out that lead to the point itself. The trails are also unimproved and a little rough, but they will get you there. Other than drinking water and a camera, no special equipment is required. The shortest trail will get you out to Point Abbaye’ in 15 or 20 minutes. When you get there, you leave the forest and step out onto an enormous rock shelf that overlooks the lake. Care should be taken as the rocks can be slippery and there are no facilities here, this is pure Michigan wilderness. The view of the lake, the distant Huron Islands, and the mountains makes it all worth it.
When you decide you have had enough natural beauty and want to return to your car, there is an option other than taking the trails back. The physically fit and adventurous might want to walk back along the shoreline. The entire way is nothing but rocks and rock cliffs with huge splashes of spray, great giant pines and the cold waters of Lake Superior forming pools and rivulets. If you keep Lake Superior on your right-hand side, you will eventually get back to the parking area. The hike along the shore is extremely rough, slippery, and can be wet if the wind is up. However, it is just too beautiful, and you can get pictures like no other.
Directions: First we have to get to Aura, home of the Aura Music Jamboree. The easiest way is to take the Pequaming road out of L’Anse. L’Anse is at the southern tip of Keweenaw Bay between Negaunee and Ontonagon. After you pass the small settlement of Pequaming, you will continue until you reach the even smaller settlement of Aura, Michigan. At the crossroads, in Aura, turn north and continue until the pavement ends, it is less than a half mile. Where the pavement ends is where you find the two track trail leading into the forest. This two track is extremely rough. If you take that trail about eleven miles, you will come to Point Abbaye’. The only other way to get there is by water. This is not a trip recommended for winter, unless you know what you are doing with a snow machine.