The 200 mile Heritage Route 23 winds along Michigan’s Sunrise Coast, featuring breathtaking Great Lakes views and charming beachside communities. Tucked along the route are myriad opportunities to experience the wonders of Michigan’s outdoors – rushing waterfalls, pebble-strewn beaches, and hiking trails that weave under the canopies of old growth forest. The route’s summer offerings are popular, but until recently, the unique winter coastal experience awaiting on Heritage Route 23 remained relatively untapped.
When the summer boom season is overtaken by winter, the pace of coastal life slows down. Serenity settles over Northeast Michigan in the form of a crystalline snow blanket. Winter tourism helps coastal communities sustain their special way of life. Northeast Michigan communities partnered with the Michigan Coastal Management Program to get the word out.
A collaboration between the US 23 Heritage Route Management Council, Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, and Michigan’s Coastal Program produced a downloadable tourist guide and map, web features on www.heritage23.com, and a feature video (honored with an Emmy nomination!) sharing the Sunrise Coast winter experience. Stunning imagery paired with natural sound and music showcase wintertime in Northeast Michigan. Exhilarating outdoor activities like ice sailing, fat tire biking, snow kiting, and mushing with sled dogs pair with peaceful excursions like elk-viewing sleigh rides through the snowy forest.
The winter marketing materials build on previous outreach work conducted to highlight regional attractions including Shipwreck Alley, Ocqueoc Falls, and Historic Mill Creek. This outreach helps support sustainable jobs in the region and connects people with the wonders of the natural world.
The Coastal Management Program in the Office of the Great Lakes is committed to supporting sustainable coastal communities. Discover how the Coastal Program preserves, protects, and enhances Michigan’s coasts by visiting www.michigan.gov/coastalprogram or contacting program manager Ronda Wuycheck at email@example.com.
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