Five Outstanding Instagram Photos from Our Fans in March 2014

March in Pure Michigan is a time of transition from snowy scenery to blooming buds and new beginnings. Our Pure Michigan Instagram community embraced the changing seasons with some wonderful photos! From glowing auroras to melting winter ice, here are just a few of our favorites from March.

For more fan photos, check out our DecemberJanuary and February roundups and follow us on Instagram.

Northern Lights glow in the nighttime sky in the Upper Peninsula. Photo by Instagram user @michellelazur.

e35e6d5cafa011e38724125f3af85a04_8

Taking in the view at Turnip Rock. Photo by Instagram user @rockitharder.

cb3b238ab29511e3bd930e75acdd6007_8

Impressive Grand Island ice caves. Photo by Instagram user @shaleewanders.

c4c9c204a6dd11e3ae5012474a25944e_8

A pastel sunset over Oval Beach along Lake Michigan. Photo by Instagram user @jzitaphotos.

92ddfceea58211e3897b0ec6e03927b3_8

A serene Detroit skyline in the afterglow of a sunset. Photo by Instagram user @egvoproductions.

fe9df5f4ac8711e3b72e126e80dec200_8

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.”

Celebrate Detroit at the 2014 Auto Show Shuffle

The Michigan Fitness Foundation is gearing up for the North American International Auto Show this January with the 2014 Auto Show Shuffle! Guest blogger Tom Sleva gives us the details on what to expect and how to get involved. 

Forget the naysayers, Detroit is Pure Michigan. The Michigan Fitness Foundation is challenging Detroiters and Auto Show attendees to get off of their warm couches and rev up their engines for the 2014 Auto Show Shuffle in a celebration of Pure Detroit with a winter 5K along the beautiful Detroit Riverfront. The race is January 18 at the Detroit Port Authority at 8:00 a.m.

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Fitness Foundation

The Auto Show Shuffle celebrates Detroit’s rich automotive history and physical activity opportunities along an international waterfront and greenways. The race will finish just before the start of the Public Days portion of the North American International Auto Show. The race is unlike any other. Participants will witness a stunning sunrise over the Canadian and U.S. border and experience Detroit’s industrial glitz and natural beauty through the Dequindre Cut, a revitalized greenway connected to the riverfront. The combination of technology and grit and the city’s natural beauty provides a 100% Pure Detroit experience.

Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Fitness Foundation

Over the past 40 years, the riverfront has gone from factories and shipping to housing, retail and recreation. Its Detroit’s best kept secret. And it’s all thanks to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Runners will have an opportunity to see the good work they continue to execute for Detroit and its visitors thanks to tremendous funding from General Motors and the Kresge Foundation. Amenities implemented on the riverfront such as a café, butterfly garden, bike shop and carousels are also along the course to see.

Registering for the Auto Show Shuffle means you believe in Detroit and that it is Pure Michigan. Participants will receive a commemorative tech-shirt, discount admission to the Auto Show and a special Auto Show Shuffle medal. Proceeds from the Shuffle will fund physical activity, nutrition and health programs throughout the state through the Michigan Fitness Foundation.

To register, visit www.autoshowshuffle.com. For more information on Michigan Fitness Foundation’s programs, or to find more events like the Auto Show Shuffle, visit www.michiganfitness.org. Any questions about the Auto Show Shuffle or the Michigan Fitness Foundation can be directed to Nathan Ohle at nohle@michiganfitness.org.

Tom Sleva is a Marketing and Events Intern at the Michigan Fitness Foundation

Michigan’s Seven Best Paddling Trips

Guest blogger Jennifer Hamilton of the Awesome Mitten shares seven of the best destinations for paddling in Michigan. Read from her below and find more places to visit on michigan.org.

Summer may be rapidly coming to a close, but there is still plenty of time for a kayak trip in one of Michigan’s famous bodies of water. Whether you are seeking lakes or rivers, I have had the pleasure of polling fellow Awesome Mitten writers and compiling a list of Michigan’s favorite waterways.

1) Onekama to Arcadia via Lake Michigan – This is probably one of the most peaceful waterway treks in our Great Lakes State. Travelers have the opportunity to view Arcadia Bluffs from the water as they paddle by and scope out potential golfing opportunities. Since this area is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, there are great dune adventures to have at almost every point along the way if you want to stop and picnic.

2) The Backwaters at Tippy Dam – The Backwaters at Tippy Dam are for the adventurous hoping to catch a glimpse of wildlife. Great fishing is available here if you are seeking walleye or small-mouthed bass. Experienced fishermen say that the panfish are abundant as well. Due to the wooded surroundings, there is a good chance that visitors will spot at least one eagle during their adventure. The peacefulness of these Backwaters is great for an escape from civilization and to truly get a Northern Michigan experience.

3) Canals of Detroit – While Detroit may not be the first place you think of to enjoy a water-filled experience; one particular Awesome Mitten-er offers a unique perspective on its waterways. Ms. Joanna Dueweke swears by touring Detroit’s canals via kayak or stand-up paddleboard. It’s a great way to enjoy the historical buildings and homes from a completely different point of view than the general public. Some of the best and most convenient places to launch are at Alter Road, St. Jean, or Belle Isle.

Turnip Rock, photographed by Lars Jensen

4) Turnip Rock Port Austin – If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing Turnip Rock via Lake Huron, I insist that you head there immediately. This enormous rock received its turnip connotation from thousands of years of erosion from storm waves. Now, it is an island with a few trees and little other vegetation. The land nearby is all privately owned, so the only way to view it is by waterway or trekking across a frozen Lake Huron in the winter. It is quite the comedic, awe-inspiring landmark, located at the tip of Michigan’s thumb.

5) The Platte River – The Platte River is a personal favorite and though it may not be a secret, it is worth a mention to remind you to traverse its calm, strangely warm waters. The Platte is a great place to take families as it is easy to navigate and always warm enough to tube if kayaks are not readily available. As part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, it is no surprise that the Platte River is absolutely stunning. Its ending pours out into Lake Michigan with a mini peninsula jutting out between the two, dividing the playful river and the wild waves.

6) Huron River near Ann Arbor – This is the only state-designated Country Scenic Natural River in Southeast Michigan. It is a huge river that covers five counties, with each portion being strikingly worthwhile. During various portions of the river, floaters can expect to come across an abundance of dams; there are 96 total, to be exact. Many of these dams were built for mill or hydroelectric power, making them fairly large. Due to the size of these dams, many new lakes have formed along the Huron River, making for exciting sites to see almost every portion of the way.

7) Two Hearted River, Eastern Upper Peninsula – Any river that has a beer named after it clearly needs to be traversed. It is a fairly short river that empties into Lake Superior, and it does a great job of capturing the Upper Peninsula’s natural beauty. At the mouth of the river, travelers can see a Michigan Historic Marker; formally known as the Two-Hearted Life Saving Station, which then became part of the United States Coast Guard in 1915. The Two-Hearted River is exceptionally famous for a great place to leisurely fish, probably while enjoying a nice Two-Hearted Ale from Bell’s Brewery.

Jennifer Hamilton is a feature writer for The Awesome Mitten. Jennifer lives in Traverse City where she works for Addiction Treatment Services and is earning her Master of Social Work and Master of Arts in Alcohol and Drug Addiction.

Do you have a favorite Michigan paddling trip that’s not on the list? Share with us below!