MARQUETTE - Great natural beauty is just around the corner - literally - if one is traveling north on Marquette County Road 550.
Wetmore Landing and Little Presque Isle Point offer stunning vistas as well as relatively easy access on foot.
Near Sugar Loaf Mountain, a trail runs parallel to the Wetmore Landing beach area. The beach area has six small staircases located a short distance from one another which allow beachgoers or hikers easy access to the water.
A view of the shoreline facing Wetmore Landing and Sugarloaf Mountain from Wetmore to Little Presque Isle is seen. (Journal photo by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)
The sandy, rock -strewn shoreline and wooded trails heading toward Little Presque Isle Point is seen. (Journal photo by Andy Nelson-Zaleski)
Near the fourth set of stairs, a hiker can choose to head left to a parking lot or continue straight towards Little Presque Isle Point.
Hiking down the trail from the parking lot, Everett Britton of Dover, Del. was walking toward the beach with his wife.
"Wetmore is a quiet and beautiful area. It is also a great place to take kids swimming because the water is shallow," he said.
Continuing parallel to the beach, the sandy beach area begins to get rocky and turns into a wooded section of trail.
This segment of trail is around 2.2 miles one way and though overall the trail heads west, this portion of trail is mostly northbound towards Little Presque Isle Point. The trail is fairly flat with areas of exposed rock and tree roots.
There are a large variety of pine and hardwood trees as well as a number of plant species such as ferns, wildflowers and berry plants. Mushrooms large and small are found in a number of different colors including orange, yellow and white.
Marquette resident Rachel Elworden was hiking and said she loves being in the woods.
"Hiking is a great form of exercise and it is more fun," Elworden said, adding that she likes this area of the trail.
"It follows the lakeshore and on a day like today, the lake is so calm it almost looks like glass," she said.
A short distance away, there is a small grouping of large boulders that look like they may have eroded off a nearby rock face.
As the trail continues to wind and meander, a hiker will begin to notice the start of a wooden guardrail, which runs along a cliff edge. At the bottom is a small sand beach cove.
After walking along the guard rail section of trail, a small footbridge that crosses over a small dried up stream bed is situated.
At the higher elevation, the trail moves closer to the edge. On a calm day large white crack-like lines can be seen under the water.
"My favorite part of the trail has been seeing the rock formations from the top portion of the trail," said Janice Dunham of Columbus, Ohio.
She and her family are vacationing in Marquette and picked up a map of the trail from the Michigan Welcome Center.
"The trail rating has been very accurate as an easy to moderate trail," said Brian Murphy, another vacationer from Columbus.
Another staircase leads down 44 steps closer to water level. After the stairs, the trail continues to run closer to the shoreline and in the not so far distance Little Presque Isle Point can be seen.
While walking closer to the edge the hiker will begin to notice sandstone outcroppings that the waves from the lake have carved.
The pathway opens to a forest trail to the Little Presque Isle Point.
At this beach, Roxanne Cushway and her daughter Karly of Madison, Wis. stopped to enjoy the water with their chocolate lab, Maddie.
"I find the view breathtaking. We are very fortunate to have this kind of beauty around us," Roxanne said.
Andy Nelson-Zaleski can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 256. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.