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Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 4:57 PM

DAY TRIP DESTINATION: LES CHENEAUX ISLANDS AREA

DAY TRIP DESTINATION: LES CHENEAUX ISLANDS AREA

Thirty miles northeast of St. Ignace is the 36-island archipelago – the Les Cheneaux Islands. Here you will find one-of-a-kind places, friendly faces, and a sense of time that will slow your paces!

LES CHENEAUX CULINARY SCHOOL & RESTAURANT

186 S. Pickford Avenue, Hessel • www.lcculinary.org • Opens June 14, 2024, for the season.

The Les Cheneaux Culinary School & Restaurant in the heart of downtown Hessel prepares individuals to work as professional chefs, sous chefs, and culinary experts. The year-long program focuses on farm-to-table fine dining, with all products sourced from local farmers and purveyors where possible. The school’s fine-dining restaurant overlooks Hessel Bay and the Les Cheneaux Islands and can accommodate 80+ guests. During the summer months, culinary students complete their education showcasing what they have learned by creating menus, preparing food, and operating the restaurant.

For restaurant hours and to view the menu, visit www.lcculinary.org, or visit them on Facebook for information about special wine paired dinners. For reservations, call (906) 484-4800.

HESSEL SCHOOL HOUSE –
AVERY ARTS AND NATURE LEARNING CENTER

3206 W. Cedar Street, Hessel • https://www.hesselschoolhouse.org/ • (906) 484-1333

The creative heart of this lakeside village beats strongly in the old Hessel School House. Built in 1937 through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it operated as a school until 1959. Today it continues to serve the community with an extensive offering of educational programs throughout the year that include lectures, workshops, and art classes for both children and adults. Also on the property is the Story Book Trail that features a selection of book titles. The books are displayed along the trail and are available for purchase in the gift store. Sales help fund Hessel School House – Avery Arts and Nature Learning Center programs.

The Hessel School House – Avery Arts and Nature Learning Center also hosts the annual Aldo Leopold Festival, which honors Aldo Leopold, one of America’s most influential naturalists. The 2024 festival dates are May 29 through June 2. Activities include presentations, birding trips, paddling excursions, orchid and wildflower tours, and many more nature-based activities.

Beginning in May and running through December, unless otherwise indicated, the Les Cheneaux Farmers & Artisans Market meets every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hessel School House. Visit the Les Cheneaux Farmers & Artisan Market on Facebook to confirm dates and times.

For more information about Hessel School House programming and the Aldo Leopold Festival visit www.hesselschoolhouse.org, Facebook, or call (906) 484-1333.

LES CHENEAUX ISLANDS
ANTIQUE WOODEN BOAT SHOW & FESTIVAL OF ARTS 

Hessel Marina

This much anticipated annual boat show and festival of arts has been a major attraction in the Les Cheneaux Islands area since it began in 1978. Featuring antique and classic wooden boats, some more than 100 years old, the show attracts about 150 boats. Many of the vessels are owned by residents of the Les Cheneaux Islands and are still used and can be seen cruising through the Islands during the summer season. The show is always the second Saturday in August in the Hessel Marina. The 2024 date is August 10. Mertaugh Boat Works, which anchors the eastern end of the boat display area, had the first Chris- Craft franchise in the United States.

For more information, visit www.lciboatshow.com or find them on Facebook.

MARQUETTE ISLAND NATURE PRESERVES

The Marquette Island Nature Preserves is comprised of the Aldo Leopold Preserve, the Sheppard-Hardy Preserve, the Catherine Sieberling Stewart Preserve, the Kathy Bricker Nature Lover Preserve, and Wilderness Bay for more than 2,000 acres of protected lands and five miles of Lake Huron shoreline. This northern shoreline of Lake Huron was designated a “Last Great Place” by The Nature Conservancy, a global leader in natural land conservation, in 1973. The preserves feature critical habitats that support a variety of flora and fauna, including aquatic plant species, insects, fish species, and migratory birds.

The Marquette Island Nature Preserves are accessible only by boat (or over the ice in winter). The easiest access to the Aldo Leopold Preserve is at Leopold Landing at Duck Bay. Trails are not regularly maintained, and in many places, they go through dense conifer forests with seasonally wet sections. You will find trail signs for a trail loop about a mile-and-a-quarter-long near Duck Bay, but you can go further up the preserve following old two tracks. You can launch your boat from either Hessel or Cedarville to reach Marquette Island.

For more information, visit www.landtrust.org or visit the Little Traverse Conservancy on Facebook.

SNOWS HERITAGE PARK

207 N. Blindline Road, Cedarville

Snows Heritage Park is behind the Clark Township Hall on Blindline Road in Cedarville. In addition to the park’s mile-long hiking trail are a covered picnic pavilion with picnic tables and an outdoor BBQ, ball diamonds, a playground, tennis and pickleball courts, horseshoe pits, and a new restroom building. The park is the site of several community events year-round.

For more information, visit Snows Heritage Park on Facebook.

GREAT LAKES BOAT BUILDING SCHOOL

485 S. Meridian Street, Cedarville • www.glbbs.edu

The Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) in Cedarville is the only accredited school specializing in the marine industry in the Great Lakes region. Its mission is to “prepare students for rewarding careers in the marine industry.” The 12,000 square foot waterfront facility on the northern shore of Lake Huron in the Les Cheneaux Islands area offers two one-year-long programs that prepare students to be industry-ready craftsmen and technicians. The opportunity for students to get hands-on and on-water experiences are plentiful. The GLBBS is a Mercury (Marine) University exclusive school. The school offers tours to the general public, but they must be arranged for in advance. They also offer several on-site visit days for prospective students.

For more information, visit www.glbbs.edu, find them on Facebook, or call (906) 484-1081.


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