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Tag Archives: Thornton Lake

Whenever we are in Munising we always drive out to Hiawatha National Forest. We were up early in the morning to catch the sunrise. In fact we were up a little too early. I was already in the car ready to go when my wife came out and noted that it seemed awfully dark out. We double checked the time and found we were an hour early so we headed back into the motel for another our. We then headed out to Hiawatha National Forest. We drove around to photograph some of the lakes in the forest. We didn’t see a single photographer which is highly unusual.

Thornton Lake

Thornton Lake

Pete’s Lake

Twin Lakes

Doe Lake

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It is sometimes difficult to hit the fall colors just right. I’ve had the most success visiting Ironwood at the end of September some of the other locations I try to judge the fall colors using the Wisconsin Fall Color Foliage Report.

Gile Flowage Sunrise

Gile Flowage Sunrise

I’m starting to think about fall color trips. Typically my fall season starts with a trip to Ironwood, Michigan at the end of September. My two favorite photograph locations are Gile Flowage. Gile Flowage is a great place to start the morning by photographing the sunrise.

Gile Flowage

Gile Flowage

Later in the day I like to drive over to Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill and make the trip to the top of the ski jump. There are some spectacular views from the top of the ski lift.

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill

Copper Peak International Ski Flying Hill

In mid October I like to drive over to Munising, Michigan. This is probably one of the premier fall color locations in the country. While I’m in the area there are three locations I like to visit. The first is Hiawatha National Forest. There are quite a few lakes in the forest that offer some spectacular fall color shots. The leaves turn first in the National Forest. If you are really lucky you will be in the area when the snow falls on the colors.

Thornton Lake

Thornton Lake

A week or so later the colors will turn at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking along the trails above the lake offer some unsurpassed scenery. If the weather cooperates a sunset cruse on the tour boats is well worth your time.

Miners-Beach-Pictured-Rocks-National-Lakeshore-14-10-_1926

While in the area I always try to visit Seney National Wildlife Refuge. It offers some spectacular sunrise and sunset opportunities as well as a chance to photograph wildlife.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge Sunset

Seney National Wildlife Refuge Sunset

Toward the end of October I like to drive down to Baraboo, Wisconsin. There are some great photography locations in the area. Devils Lake State Park is always popular and can be crowed on a beautiful fall Day.

Devils Lake State Park

Devils Lake State Park

Gibraltar Rock offers some great views of the Wisconsin River Valley.

Gibraltar Rock

Gibraltar Rock

My favorite location is Pewits Nest. If you time it right the leaves can be outstanding. Pewits Nest is small natural gorge cut by Skillet Creek.

Pewits Nest

Pewits Nest

With fall just around the corner it’s time to be thinking of fall photo locations. One of my favorite locations is the area around Munising, Michigan. Generally the interior colors peak around the last week of September with the colors along the lake peaking the first week of October. Hiawatha National Forest offers a numerous lakes to photograph during the fall color peak. Some of the more popular photo locations are a series of lakes just south of Munising along highway H13. The area has many back roads an lakes so just driving around will likely reveal some great photos. Last year I happened to be in the area during a snow storm which produced some great photo opportunities although it was a bit difficult to photograph in wet snow. Finding the lakes are fairly simple. Drive south from the intersection of H13 and highway 28 in Wetmore, Michigan. At about 9.5 miles you will see a roadside rest area for Moccasin Lake on your right. I’ll use this as the base to locate the other lakes.

Petes Lake

Petes Lake – At the south end of the Moccasin Lake rest area you will see a sign for forest road 2173 and about a hundred feet farther you will see a sign for Petes lake on your left. Follow the signs to Petes Lake. Once at Petes Lake you can park at the boat launch area and photograph and you can also park at the gate for the campground and walk into the campground. This provides a wider range of opportunities. Petes Lake is best photographed at sunrise.

Moccasin Lake

Moccasin Lake – Leaving Petes Lake you can drive back to H13 and turn right to return to Moccasin Lake. This is also another great location that is best photographed in the morning.

Red Jack Lake

Red Jack Lake – When you leave Moccasin Lake turn left (north) and drive a few hundred feet and turn left on  2261. At the one mile mark you will see a post with forest road 2261a marked on it. Turn on this road and you will Reach Red Jack Lake. Red Jack Lake is best photographed at sunrise although you can also photograph at sunset.

Council Lake

Council Lake – When you are finished you can return to forest road 2261 and turn right. This will take you to Council Lake. This lake is best photographed at sunrise although you can also photograph at sunset.

Thornton Lake

Thornton Lake – When you are finished you can return to H13 and turn left. In about .4 miles you will see a sign for adapt a road on your left. Just past this sign there is a turn in to Thornton lake and a small parking lot. It is easy to miss this turn if there are lots of leaves on the trees

Doe Lake

Doe Lake – When you leave Thornton Lake turn left and drive to Buckhorn Road. Turn left onto Buckhorn road and drive .8 miles to Doe Lake Road (forest road 2268). Buckhorn road turns right and Doe Lake road continues on straight. After a few hundred feet you will see Big Twin Lake on your right. This can be photographed in the early morning or late evening. Continue on for 2 miles and you will reach Doe Lake. When you reach a section of asphalt you are at Doe Lake. This is best photographed in the morning.

There is a nice listing and maps to Michigan Lakes on the web.

There are more photos from Hiawatha National Forest on my website.