Five Incredible Instagram Photos from Our Fans in June 2014

We might be biased, but of all 50 states, we think Michigan is the most photogenic. No matter where you are in the mitten, you’re sure to find a beautiful setting sun, white-capped waves, or vibrant blooming flowers. This June, our Pure Michigan Instagram community ventured outdoors to find some captivating Pure Michigan moments. From blue skies to kayak rides, here are just a few of our favorites from June. 

For more fan photos, check out our March, April and May roundups and follow us on Instagram

A stretch of beautiful unspoiled nature at Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains captured by @brob40. What a perfect view! 10375647_239190046292110_620682336_n

A swirl of beautiful pastel colors light up the sky as the sun goes down over Ann Arbor. Photo by Instagram user @klc_ina2.AnnArbor_klc_in_a2

Bright stars speckle the dark sky over Duck Lake in Muskegon. Photo by Instagram user @skeetownjay.DuckLake_Skeettownjay

No matter the temperature, Pictured Rocks will always take your breath away! Photo by Instagram user @amateer14.PicturedRocks_amateer14

 A glowing sun dips below the Lake Michigan horizon on a tranquil evening in Leelanau County. Photo by Instagram user @john_a_gessner.John_a_gessner

Have you captured a fantastic Pure Michigan photo recently?

If you’re on Instagram, follow us @puremichigan! If you’d like us to share your photos from across the state, please tag them with #PureMichigan to give us permission to “re-gram.”

From Our Community: 17 Reasons We Love Summertime in Michigan

As the temperature heats up, Michiganders and visitors alike are reminded of the sights and sounds that make summer in Michigan so special! From long days on the lake to outdoor festivals and camping, the season holds unique traditions and special meaning for everyone! 

With summer officially underway this Saturday, we asked our fans on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ “What do you love most about summertime in Pure Michigan? Below is a roundup of just some of our favorite responses from fans. If yours is missing, tell us in the comments section below what summer in Michigan means to you!

JumpingI think it’s more than just a single place or thing about Michigan that makes it special. It’s more of a feeling, an emotion which are born out of memories of good times. Sleeping Bear Dunes area, the Lake Michigan shore, Mackinac Island and too many more to name here. Just so many special places, all with attached memories. -Mike Bostwick

How the further north you are, the light at dusk still lingers as late as 10 pm, then gives way to a spectacular star-filled sky, mother nature willing. Nothing like sitting by a campfire with friends and family watching the night unfold with loons calling in the distance. -Jill Schultz

Everything to do with water. And the Lake Michigan sunsets. Wish I was there. – Karen Boudreau Covington 

Fishing, camping, going home to the UP to visit my family, hiking in the woods, walking on the beaches…there’s no where else like our beautiful state! – Lindsey Betzner

The smells of smoke from the bonfire in the morning mist off Lake Huron! – Diane Hartley

Every day is unexpected. You never know what it will bring. – Louise Sager Larry

My new forever home: Leland, Michigan; and my family’s two cottages on Big Whitefish Lake. – Ems Dantechuan

Summertime in Pure Michigan to me..is seeing the sky blue water of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and then, there’s the opportunity to climb the stairs in Arcadia and stare in wonder at the sights in each direction. Or perhaps its the Grand Haven Lighthouse, Ludington State Park, the peninsula in Traverse City—oh the vineyards, Sleeping Bear Dunes, of course mighty Mac, and stepping on to the porch of the Grand Hotel, or, perhaps its Cedarville and the quaint-ness of this area, I guess I don’t have room to go on to truly explain the beauty of pure Michigan… – Lynne Lenfesty

Warm weather, cool breezes off Lake Michigan, gorgeous sunsets … All of it. – Tamara Stevens

1009378_10152008225443289_365014519_oSunsets over the lake, the hot sun, the warm breeze, the occasional thunderstorm, with bright lighting, loud cracks of thunder, and pouring rain. The wildlife. Bonfires at camp, cooking brats, dogs, burgers, corn, beans, everything on the grill. Yumm. Walking around bear foot, shorts, capris, sandals, sunglasses. – Kelly Illikainen

Living at the lake cottage in northern Michigan and visiting all the towns for shopping, craft shows, car shows, boat shows, etc. Also, swimming, boating, and northern Michigan products! Being a laker for the summer is awesome! – Kimberly Dean

Fishing, blueberry picking, eating breakfast, lunch & dinner by the lake, swimming with the minnows, and catching up with our up north neighbors. – Christine Hawn Wood

Floating on the water early morning or evening, smelling the moist air, and hearing the water lap against the side of whatever “float” you are on! – Judy Taylor-Kirby

So many things to love about Michigan summers!! Bonfires, cookouts , beach, hiking in woods, visiting lighthouses, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, camping, UP, boating and swimming, fishing, beautiful weather! Silver Lake Sand dunes! Just enjoying and learning new places to explore in my home state! – Nancy Phillips

Knowing during this time there is nowhere else I would rather be. – Alex Chamberlain

Kayaking and sailing, taking friends from out of state to the Straits of Mackinac to go deep water diving (upcoming! So excited!), long walks in forests along beaches and in rivers, the summer ferns, the trilliums, actually… all the native Michigan plants, sweeping instead of shoveling, finding rocks that show their markings when you get them wet, BBQs bonfires and picnics, sunsets I can’t stay awake for and of course, all the wineries and berry picking. Just the short list… – Liz Storm

Every. Single. Moment. – Leeann Wright

What is your favorite thing about summer in Michigan? 

Eight Reasons to Get Out and Explore Michigan’s Waterfalls this Summer

Today, Michigan-based photographer John McCormick shares some visually compelling reasons to get out and explore Michigan’s many rushing waterfalls this summer.

If you’re looking for things to do in Michigan this summer, try exploring some beautiful waterfalls. This will be a great year for it! The heavy snow and below average temperatures this past winter have resulted in fast flowing rivers and raging waterfalls all across Upper Michigan this spring. My wife and I and our three boys have been exploring and photographing these gems for over 30 years and the ones mentioned here are a few of our favorites.

Some of the waterfalls are easy to find and easy to access, while others require a little more effort.  The most popular waterfall to see is Tahquamenon, and it is also one of the easiest to access. There are two drops – the upper and lower. The upper falls are more than 200 feet across and plunge approximately 48 feet. Both of these waterfalls are within the Tahquamenon Falls State Park, and this area has some of the best camping in Michigan.

Tahquamenon Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Tahquamenon Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

One of the more remote waterfalls to see is Spray Falls in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This one is about a three mile round trip hike, starting from the trail-head at Little Beaver Lake campground. It is rated a moderate hike. Spray Falls plunges 70ft over the Pictured Rocks cliff edge directly into Lake Superior. This stretch of hiking trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in Michigan. See our Pictured Rocks gallery.

Spray Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Spray Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

Another easy to access waterfall ‘and fun to photograph’, is Wagner Falls, just South of Munising, Michigan. It’s a beautiful scenic spot, and just a short walk through the woods. If you visit this one in the springtime, you will see Marsh Marigolds blooming along the edges of the creek just below the falls. It makes for a pretty picture! As a side trip while in the area, head over to Miners Beach just West of Munising and see the little but very picturesque, Elliot Falls, aka Miners Beach Falls.

Wagner Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Wagner Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

Elliot Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Elliot Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

Moving on from Wagner falls on M94 heading South and West you will find the little town of Chatham, MI,  which is about 25 miles from Munising. Near Chatham, is Rock River Falls. This waterfall is hidden in the Rock River Wilderness Area. Getting to it involves driving on some old logging roads and then hiking a mile or so through the forest on some ‘not so well marked’ trails, but if you are looking for a back-country waterfall adventure, this one is for you. Also, Just a few miles West of Chatham, is Laughing Whitefish Falls. It’s another easily accessible waterfall and a beautiful area of the Rock River Wilderness.

Rock River Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Rock River Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

Laughing Whitefish Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Laughing Whitefish Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

Farther West in Upper Michigan near Paulding, Michigan, is Bond Falls. This one has it all. Easy to access, wheelchair accessible, and one of the most spectacular to see. Don’t forget to get some ice cream at the Paulding General Store, or maybe look for the “Paulding Lights”. People have reported seeing these mysterious lights for 40 years.

Bond Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Bond Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

One more waterfall I will mention, that gets little attention, is Ocqueoc Falls near Onaway, Michigan. This is the only recognized waterfall in Michigan’s lower peninsula. You can hike the Ocqueoc Falls Pathway that starts here and runs along the river. Also at the falls area there is a picnic area with tables and grills. This area is also wheelchair accessible.

Oqeuoc Falls - Michigan Nut Photography

Oqeuoc Falls – Michigan Nut Photography

I could go on and list many, many more waterfalls to see. I do highly recommend visiting my Michigan waterfalls gallery to see over a hundred photos my favorite shots taken over many years of travels.

John McCormickJohn McCormick is a lifelong Michigan resident and has been interested in Michigan Nature Photography for over 30 years. Michigan is a beautiful place to live and photographing that beauty is his absolute passion. Check out more from John on his Michigan Nut Photography Facebook page or on his website.