Seven Scenic Aerial Photos Captured Above Pure Michigan

Do you ever wonder what a beautiful Pure Michigan landscape looks like from above? Just ask aerial photographer Marge Beaver!  Marge is based in Muskegon, MI. She has more than 30 years experience flying and shooting custom aerial photography jobs all over the country – many of them in Michigan! Her plane is equipped with camera ports for both vertical (map-like) and oblique (scenic, angled) photography. She has logged more than 7,000 hours in the air flying and photographing all kinds of subjects from sandy shores to frozen lakes.

Here are seven spectacular aerial photos captured high above Pure Michigan:

Lake Michigan harbor at Manistique in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

 Big Bay Harbor in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along the shores of Lake Superior

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

 Mackinac Bridge in the winter showing the track made by an icebreaker to open a shipping path

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

Downtown Detroit with Ford Field & Comerica Park in the foreground looking toward the Detroit River and the Renaissance Center

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

 Ice formations along the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

 Fishing boats heading out of the Muskegon channel into Lake Michigan at sunrise

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

High above Muskegon during the winter months.

Photo courtesy of Marge Beaver - Photography Plus

For more aerial photos, visit http://photography-plus.com. Marge has authored 3 coffee table style aerial photo books - Above the North, Above West Michigan, and the most recent titled Above the Lighthouses: Lake Michigan illustrating her love affair with how our beautiful area looks from on high.  Personalized copies can be obtained through her website or toll free at 866-300-9691.  Digital images can also be purchased for use on brochures, websites, etc.

Marge is a great-grandmother with 4 living children (raised 5), 12 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.  She didn’t start her flying career until after her major family obligations were behind her.  Once she took an introductory ride in a small plane, though, she was immediately addicted, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

5 Ways to Celebrate Michigan’s 177th Birthday

The state of Michigan turns 177 on Sunday! To help kick off Michigan’s birthday weekend, we asked Alex Beaton of The Awesome Mitten to share her recommendations on ways to celebrate.

Do you plan to celebrate Michigan’s birthday? Share with us in the comments section below!

Host a Michigan Birthday Party!

What better way to celebrate Michigan’s 177th Birthday than with a birthday party? Invite over some fellow Michiganders, drink Michigan beer, enjoy a plethora of MIchigan foods, play some Euchre – and our extra awesome “Michigan Bingo” that we’ve created just for the occasion! Not going to be in Michigan to celebrate the momentous event? Create a Google hangout with some other displaced Michiganders and enjoy all those activities virtually! We hosted our own and here’s the story about it.

Drink a Michigan beverage.

Michigan is home to several amazing drinks. Faygo and Vernors are some classic favorites, but in honor of Michigan’s 177th, branch out and try one of the newer Michigan pops; feel free to make your drink a little more adult with some local gin or whiskey. With Michigan’s craft beer industry booming, you also have the option to go to your favorite local specialty drink shop and create your own six pack of Michigan beers you haven’t tried before. And last but certainly not least, you can drink some of Michigan’s delicious wine! There are over 50 wineries in both Southwest and Northwest Michigan, so it’s easy to find something you’ll like that’s local too!

Enjoy some Michigan fudge or a pasty!

If there’s something Michigan does right, it’s food. For those with a sweet tooth, Michigan fudge is a must-have–grab some from Murdick’s in Traverse City or any Kilwin’s location across the state. If you’re looking for something a little more robust, try a pasty and argue with your friends about the pronunciation of this delicacy along with whether to top yours with ketchup or gravy.

Get outside!

We’re lucky in Michigan to have so many outdoor activities just outside our door! Even if you usually grumble about the snow and cold, take time on Michigan’s Birthday to be thankful for it: get outside and go ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, snowboarding, or just take a walk and revel in Michigan’s natural beauty. There are plenty of ski runs and hiking trails around the state–we’re certain there’s at least one near you.

Plan your next weekend getaway.

Thinking about staying home this spring break to save some money? Why not plan a long weekend somewhere in Michigan? Enjoy the wine trails in Traverse City, plan a craft beer weekend in Beer City USA (Grand Rapids), or head over the bridge and enjoy all the Upper Peninsula has to offer!

How will you be celebrating Michigan’s 177th Birthday? Comment below, or share on Instagram & Twitter using the hashtag #177YearsofAwesome!

Alex Beaton is the Founder of The Awesome Mitten. A Michigan native, she grew up in Traverse City, went to college in East Lansing, and now calls Grand Rapids home. A foodie and lover of Michigan craft beer, she enjoys going on weekend adventures throughout Michigan, which can be followed on the Awesome Mitten’s social media accounts:  FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

An Inside Look at Cold Rolled: Amazing Video on Snow Biking in the UP

Today, featured blogger Jesse Land of Things to Do in the U.P. shares his interview with filmmaker Aaron Peterson on snow biking in Michigan and his new film Cold Rolled.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Peterson

A new film by Michigan filmmakers shows that Marquette, Michigan is breaking ground in the sport of snow biking, with veteran snow bikers leading the way. With a custom made trail groomer and a dedicated snow bike trail (simply dubbed the “SBR” for snow bike route), there’s yet another reason to visit Marquette in the winter. I caught up with filmmaker Aaron Peterson this week for a quick Q &A about the film, Marquette and snow biking in general.

The film is being released in five parts, and you’ll find the first two parts below the interview.

How did this film come about? What were some of the challenges you ran into while making it? Did you run into any pleasant surprises?

I wanted to showcase the unique winter riding opportunities available in Marquette. We started out with the idea to make a short action video for the web, but then found a deeper story about a strong culture of winter cycling in Marquette and decided to expand the project into a film. Some of the challenges were that I’m new to video and filmmaking, this is my first major undertaking. I’ve been shooting video for about a year and just started to learn editing about 10 months ago.

As far as you know, how does the snow bike trail in Marquette compare to snow bike trails in the rest of the country?

Marquette’s SBR is, as far as I know, the first of its kind. It is very similar to a standard summertime mountain bike singletrack flow trail, meaning its fast, narrow and has fun features like bermed corners, rollers, etc.

From what I’ve seen in other areas, most places are simply allowing fatbikes on existing Nordic ski trails, which has a very different feel than buzzing through the woods on a dedicated bike trail. The NTN SBR is a really unique product, and one that I think was made possible due to the 30-year history of winter riding in Marquette that is featured in the film.

How does the NTN groom the snow bike trail?

Mike Brunet and Matt Belic of the NTN experimented with a number of different techniques and equipment over the past few years before developing and constructing their own groomer design. It’s sort of a cross between a snowmobile trail groomer and a Nordic ski trail drag. It rolls and packs the snow leaving a 27-inch wide courdoroy ribbon of fun through the hills and forest within the city of Marquette.

Are there any other snow bike trails in the area that will be opening in the foreseeable future?

The Range Mountain Bike Club of Negaunee/Ishpeming is planning to groom some of its system this season, making Marquette County a true hub for winter cycling. Also the Noquemanon Ski Marathon will have three races during the weekend of†Jan 24-26, 2014.

Do you need a special bike to ride the snow bike trail?

Yes, this is a trail specifically for fatbikes, bikes with oversized tires available from a variety of manufacturers. Fatbikes are available to rent from The Sports Rack in Marquette and can be demoed at any of Marquette’s four bike shops. The trails are also open to snowshoeing.

Can you talk a little about snow biking in general? I heard of it last year for the first time and it seems like it’s rapidly growing in popularity.

Fatbikes are the fastest growing segment of the bike industry right now. They use an oversized tire with low pressure to increase flotation and traction in soft conditions, they work in all types of terrain but excel like no other bike when it comes to riding on snow, which is why locally they are called snow bikes.

They do need a packed surface of some sort, like a ski trail, dedicated snow bike trail or anywhere a snowmobile of snowshoe traffic has compressed fluffy snow. Riding on snow is surreal. For an experienced cyclist, the feeling is similar to mountain biking but different enough that it lets you feel an entirely new experience on a bike. Marquette’s SBR can be very fast because it is smooth, the ride is like a roller coaster.

The bikes are very stable because of their wide tires and the traction is unbelievable. It’s just fun to try something familiar yet different and see what the bike can and can’t do. Plus it’s outdoors in crisp fresh air and great exercise. You just have to try it.

Video One:

COLD ROLLED-Chapter One from Clear & Cold Cinema on Vimeo.

Video Two:

COLD ROLLED-Chapter 2: The Thirty-Year Winter from Clear & Cold Cinema on Vimeo.

The remaining three videos (and the full length film) will be available the following dates:

These approximately 4-minute long chapters will be live by 8 a.m. EST on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Dec. 21 Chapter 3: The Lake Superior Session
  • Saturday,Dec. 28 Chapter 4: MindSparks-Birth of the SBR
  • Saturday,Jan. 4 Chapter 5: The SBR Shred Session
  • Saturday, Jan. 11 Full film available

Have you ever been snow biking? Tell us about your experience.

This post was written by Jesse Land of Things to do in the U.P. on behalf of Travel Marquette Michigan.