Get off the Couch — Explore Michigan: Arcadia Bluffs

February 9, 2012


Arcadia Bluffs Overlook – Arcadia



Joan H. Young

By JOAN H. YOUNG columnist



Near the northen border of Manistee County is a roadside park that’s worth a visit any time you are passing by. It’s even great as a destination for a picnic, a sunset viewing, or as part of a visit to some of the attractions along M-22.



Arcadia Bluffs overlook is just 1.5 miles north of the village of Arcadia, which is 9 miles north of Onekama. Arcadia and Lake Arcadia are nestled within a ring of sand dune hills, in a flat area which is the former glacial Lake Algonquin. Where the northern edge of the hills meets Lake Michigan, a steep bluff falls to the beach. Michigan Department of Transportation has created a rest area and scenic overlook, realizing that people have always been attracted to park there, because of the scenery.



I visited on a gray day last week, but even the lack of color couldn’t diminish the spectacular view. Think what this looks like on a clear day, or with a pink sunset!



The facilities include parking, four picnic tables (one of which is handicap accessible), latrines in summer, and best of all, stairs to a high overlook platform. A telescopic viewer at the top is also available in summer.



You will need to work a bit for the best view. There are 120 steps to climb to reach the highest platform, but there are plenty of places to rest along the way, some of which have benches. If you are unable to climb steps, the lowest platform is fully accessible, and even from there the view is great.



Dogs are welcome, on a leash, but most dogs won’t be willing to climb the stairs because they are open mesh metal.



To the south, you can see the other end of the ring of hills, and far to the north, Frankfort juts into the lake.



The least positive thing is that it’s very near the road, but hey, it’s a scenic turnout, not a park.



With my usual talent for being slightly late, I missed seeing a spectacular sunset from here by just one day. But never fear, there will be more sunsets!



For more info see Arcadia Bluffs Overlook:




Get Off The Couch – Explore Michigan” is dedicated to tempting you get out, discover and enjoy the natural world (and maybe some local history). Move those muscles, breathe some fresh air and have a good day!


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