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West End update – Alastar Dimitrie – GINCC: Fall color, moose and Dryland Dash

Alastar Dimitrie, marketing and events coordinator, GINCC

It’s fall in the West End of Marquette County, which means that it’s a great time to see colorful leaves and possibly encounter more than one type of four-legged beast.

At the time of writing, it looks like fall color should still be peaking as you read this (unless, for some reason, you’re in a library reading this on microfiche in the distant future). Some pockets will have already peaked, but I still see patches of green outside the window of the GINCC office in Ishpeming.

The colors are popping along the margins of Teal Lake and the Iron Ore Heritage Trail. If you’re seeing a lot of browns and bare branches in your current location, I would recommend getting out and exploring a bit, if possible, because there are probably vibrant fall color caches waiting for you to discover them. Just be prepared for mercurial autumn weather.

It’s early October, which means that the moose rut is still on. We’ve heard reports of sightings and tracks within the last couple of weeks. While seeing a moose is still a rare occurrence, they are more active right now, so your chances are slightly better. For the moose’s safety as well as your own, please exercise caution while driving, particularly around dusk and dawn.

Whether or not you spot one of these elusive creatures, a visit to the west end of the West End is well worth it. Lake Michigamme and the Peshekee River are two of the most beautiful bodies of water in the county.

Grab a bite at Historic Mt. Shasta Restaurant in Michigamme (currently open for takeout only) or Jerzi’s 41 Sports Bar and Grill in Champion. Restaurants have been doing a valiant job of adapting to challenging circumstances, so calling ahead is always recommended.

If you want to stay longer, book a stay at Maple Ridge Resort or campsite at Van Riper State Park. If you want to take home a souvenir, Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery is having a massive art sale throughout October.

While spotting a moose always remains an unlikely prospect, stop by the Dryland Dash and you are guaranteed to glimpse lots of friendly quadrupeds in action. Ever wondered what sled dogs do during the months when there isn’t any snow on the ground?

Find out at the Dryland Dash where you can watch dogs and mushers compete in rig, scooter, bike and canicross races. The event will take place at Negaunee Township Hall, October 9th and 10th at 10:00 AM and is free of charge. For more information visit up200.org.

If you’re looking to make the most of fall, the West End of Marquette County is a great place to start your adventure.

Editor’s note: Alastar Dimitrie is the marketing and events coordinator at the GINCC. He currently resides in Marquette with his partner Kaitlyn and their cat family. He enjoys hiking, painting, reading and recipes involving rhubarb.

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