Hiking events

Hiking in the North and Getaways in Michigan

For many Detroit metro kids, the end of June signifies two of the biggest events of the year:the last day of the school year and holidays in the North. For me, the countdown to those dates in late June and early July was on par with Christmas. I looked forward to arriving at our rental at Al-Ray Cabins in Ironton and spending almost every waking hour outdoors: swimming, fishing, hiking and playing many games and sports with my siblings and my parents.

Over the years and when I moved out of state, Up North came to mind when I thought of home, more than the town where I grew up. Partly because it’s where our whole family gathered and partly because things there didn’t seem to change all that much – or at least our routines remained consistent.

Kate Walsh // Photograph by Brad Ziegler

I’ve heard similar sentiments from friends, family, and readers. Up North is just an extension of the house, but much more fun. So when it came time to design our cover for July, we thought it was fitting to feature a Northern location: Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears. The dunes are home to one of the best hiking trails in the state, according to hiking expert and author Jim DuFresne, who wrote 50 Hikes in Michigan. You can find the list of other top trails in the state, including Detroit Metro spots, in our article.

The July issue highlights other getaway ideas, such as luxury camping in South Haven and statewide and staying at a hostel in the heart of Detroit. The Food & Drink section also features a mix of Up North and Metro Detroit locations.

One story that does not appear in this issue is a profile on gubernatorial candidate James Craig. The story about the former Detroit police chief and leading contender for the Republican nomination for much of the year was about 50% complete when news of the signature frauds broke. We can’t wait to finish this story when everything is settled; in the meantime, you can get a feel for politics with Steve Friess’ article on the upcoming primaries and the effects of the 10-year redistricting.

As I’m sure many of you do, I enter this summer with a heavier heart than usual. The mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas during its last week of school in May, and the tornado in Gaylord are still very much on my mind – and make me ever more grateful for the time spent with family, whether in the North, away, or wherever.

As you embark on your summer plans, I wish you and your loved ones safe travels, lots of time together, and many days filled with sunshine and laughter.


This story is from the July 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more stories in our digital edition.