Monday, July 4, 2022

Ewen Pines Roadside Park

Michigan has 85 roadside parks (map). Many, especially if they are in a populated or touristy area, do not allow overnight parking and have signs forbidding it. Ewen Pines, however, is along a little trafficked road and doesn't have any signs. It even has a parking section for long vehicles - prefect for a quiet stop for the night.
One picnic table and the vault toilet are accessible. Park  46.5421, -89.32886

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center

 This is much more than a visitor center. It's managed through a partnership with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Historical Society, UW-Madison Extension, and the Friends of the Center Alliance, and includes displays on regional culture, history, and natural resources; trails through the forest, meadows, and wetlands; documentaries in the theater; beautiful murals; visitor information; and a gift shop.
 
 
The museum is accessible. The nature trail is not accessible due to rough, grassy ground and boardwalk that do not meet flush with the ground but may be possible to do with help. We did not go on the Aldo Leopold trail which is located on the opposite side of Hwy G, south of the center.
 
The parking lot has long RV spaces. Center  46.58368, -90.96486

 

 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Wanoka Lake Campground

Twenty campsites are nicely spaced along three loops. The sites in the smallest loop have the best access to little Wanoka Lake. Most of the sites are surrounded by trees and vegetation so they're shady with a good degree of privacy. The sites are fairly level and large enough for most RVs. The campground was almost empty in the middle of the week in early June. Mosquitos were a little bothersome.
Although none of the sites are designated as accessible most have tables with extended tops. The ground is hard packed. Campground  46.54365, -91.2841

Friday, July 1, 2022

Jay Cooke State Park Swinging Bridge

In 1934, young men working in the Civilian Conservation Corps built a swinging bridge across the St Louis River to replace a bridge of logs and rope built by the forest service but even this more substantial bridge with stone piers couldn't withstand the rampaging water during flooding.  It was swept away just a few years later and has been replaced many times, most recently in 2013 after it was destroyed by record flooding in 2012. The bridge provides access to miles of hiking trails with campsites for backpackers.

The CCC workers also built the rustic River Inn which is now an interpretive center. A paved trail from the center leads to the bridge. In addition, 70 miles of paved William Munger State Trail can be accessed from the River Inn and swinging bridge parking lot.

The interpretive center is accessible. The trail to the bridge has switchback to make the slope manageable. The bridge is accessible but it's narrow so two wheelchairs may not be able to pass each other. We did not go on the William Munger State Trail or visit the campground which is listed as having three accessible sites.

The parking lot does not have long spaces so RVs will need to backed over the grass or parked lengthwise.  Park  46.65482, -92.37062

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Thomson Dam Overlook

The Thomson Dam is the primary dam of the Thomson Project which is composed of more than a dozen dams and control structures. The project supplies enough power for all of the homes in Duluth, Minnesota.

The dam and tannin tinted waterfalls can be viewed from the parking lot. An interpretive sign has information about the dam, hydro plant, and the surrounding area.

The parking lot is surfaced with rough gravel making pushing a bit difficult.

The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Dam  46.66532, -92.40426

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Paul Bunyan Historical Museum

If this Paul Bunyan Statue ever stood up he would be the world's tallest but instead he's kneeling and inviting visitors to sit in his palm. The statue, made of rebar, fiberglass, and 4.5 tons of welded steel, was built in 1980s by Dean Krotzer with the help of his six grown sons and a son-in-law.

The site includes a small museum with a random collection of donated items.

Both the museum and the area around the statue are accessible. 

Parking is available on the street. Paul Bunyan  47.00334, -94.73026

Monday, June 27, 2022

Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site

In the early 1960s 150 Minuteman II missile and silo bases were built in North Dakota. The Midwest was chosen for the bases because of the low population, the room to widely separate the bases from each other, and the ability to launch the missiles over the Arctic to targets in Russia. The bases were closed and the missiles sent elsewhere after the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was signed by the United States and the Soviet Union in 1991. There are still 15 manned launch control facilities and 150 Minuteman III missile silos in North Dakota.

The base has two separate units - the Launch Control Center consisting of  above ground support buildings and below ground capsules housing the equipment for monitoring and launching missiles, and the Launch Facility, located 5 miles away, which housed the missile. Both the above ground and below ground buildings at the Launch Control Center are opened to guided tours. The Launch Facility has been decommissioned. The missile was removed, the site cleaned, and the hole filled. Interpretive signs are located on the site which is a gravel pad surrounded by chain link fence.

 

The support buildings were remodeled in the 1970s to include a TV room and a game room. Personal were on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and consisted of an eight-person security and maintenance team, a manager, chef, and other support members. Two-member missile crews worked 24 hour shifts underground while they monitored the missiles and awaited orders.

The Launch Control Center is totally accessible inside but there's a high threshold and a heavy door at the entrance. The gravel at the Launch Facility may make pushing difficult.

The Launch Control Center has a small parking lot where RVs will fit but turning around an RV with a towed vehicle may be difficult. The Launch Facility has a narrow road that does not have room to turn around so backing out is the only option. Missile Site  47.49739, -98.1272

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Glenfield City Park Campground

Heavy spring rains made the ground of the camp area too soft to safely drive on so we parked in the gravel by the playground. The sites are not marked and it may be  difficult to navigate a large RV between the numerous trees. Amenities include water, picnic tables, restrooms, a playground, and limited electricity. Payment must be mailed in. Campground  47.4564, -98.56522

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Washburn Riverside Park

This is a good place to stay if you want to visit the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washburn. The park is small with a mile of river front property featuring a boat ramp, restrooms, picnic shelters, a playground, a Frisbee golf course, a paved trail, and a paved, pull through camping site.

The campsite is not marked but there is a sign between it and the playground. We parked in the gravel pull off by the playground to leave the site open for other campers which wasn't necessary because this campsite is not listed anywhere except on the city website so few people know about it.  The sign is missing contact information but the information is on the city website.  We stayed over Memorial Day weekend and did not receive an answer to our email or phone message. We spent a quiet night and morning without anyone visiting the park most likely due to the cool windy weather.

The paved trail is accessible as is the deck of a restored, historic ferry boat on display in the park. The restrooms and picnic tables do not appear to be accessible but we did not check them out.

The paved pull though site is long enough for any RV.  Park  47.28894, -101.03767

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

The exhibits on the Lewis and Clark Expedition touch on some of the major events but don't delve deep into their journey. Instead the museum focuses on other aspects of North Dakota history - explorers who came after Lewis and Clark, Native Americans who lived in the area, the Fort Clark trading post, agricultural advancements, and mapping the west.
 
 
Everything is accessible.

The parking lot has long RV spaces. Museum  47.30169, -101.04041