“Top of the Thumb,” Lake Huron

The Caseville / Port Austin area along Lake Huron is a beautiful shoreline. If you are looking for an area to rent a house for a week during the summer, consider the Caseville / Port Austin area. I have been fortunate, one of my good friend’s family has a house right on the shore of Lake Huron halfway between Caseville and Port Austin. Me and some of our friends have been going to his house in August for the Cheeseburgers in Paradise festival in Caseville for ten years. The annual festival pays tribute to the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name. Downtown Caseville decorates for the festival and holds a best cheeseburger competition. There is also a parade. In the ten years we have been going up there, we have never gone to the parade, our main concern has been the cheeseburgers. You will find Hawaiian-burgers, bacon-burgers and deep-fried Twinkies to name a few. One of the years we were up there, we heard that Jimmy Buffet made an appearance because he had a concert in Detroit the same weekend.

            The main reason we have gone up to his house has been the beach! At his house, his family has a great little personal section of the beach. M-25 actual separates his house from the beach. From his house we cross the road, go down some stairs and arrive at Lake Huron’s edge.  Over the years, we have witnessed my friend’s beach loose depth because of the rising Lake Huron water level. While this is about a private beach, there are a number of public beaches in the thumb that I hope to check out this summer. Stay posted for updates. 

            In addition to swimming, my friend’s family has two jet skis which we play around with. I took one of his jet ski’s up to 60 mph! 60 mph on a jet ski is a completely different experience than 60 mph in a car. You hold on for dear life and hope you don’t hit a wave the wrong way. Jet skis can get up to 60 mph surprisingly fast. In addition to being a dare devil on jet skis, we also go tubing, which is always fun.

            If you do plan on going to the thumb, make sure to check the weather. There have been times when we have gone up and it has been cooler, only getting into the 60’s and 70’s for a high and then there have been perfect days without a cloud in the sky. With the beach facing north over Lake Huron, I witnessed a number of amazing sunsets. One of my favorite memories of Caseville over the years was one night we had a bonfire on the beach on a clear night. I just remember how brilliant and bright all the stars were. I could really feel how infinite the cosmos are.

            Near Port Austin, there is a natural wonder, Turnip Rock. It is only accessible by water, as the nearby land is private property. Turnip Rock is a tall, round rock formation with a trees on top of it. From the looks of it, the rock was a pillar of a water cave whose rock slab roof collapsed many years ago.  Some of the remaining rock slabs can be climbed. On top of the slabs, I found some historic graffiti carved into the rock. It contained someone’s initials and the year, 1935.  It was interesting and disgusting at the same time.  My friend and I took a thirty-minute jet ski ride from his beach to Turnip Rock. It was a bit of a rough journey, even though the lake was relatively calm. If you don’t have a jet ski, the popular way to get there is via kayak from Port Austin. Turnip Rock is not very far from Port Austin harbor. I wouldn’t recommend any boats larger than a jet ski getting near Turnip Rock because there are very large rocks in the area. If you are up for adventure, Turnip Rock is worth the trip.

            The thumb area is a great beach area to spend a weekend or week.  The top of the thumb beaches are also relatively close to the metro Detroit area, you can get there in two to three hours. Enjoy the top of the thumb.        

Turnip Rock, Port Austin
Arrive by kayak or canoe
Me in front of Turnip Rock

Get your beach pong on!
Speed limit only applies on land

Check out Port Crescent and Sleeper State Parks at the top of the “Thumb.” For more information follow these links



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