Heave ho, mateys. Help me cycle across water. Lake Michigan, to be precise.
July 24, 2011 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Seeking water crossing from Upper Peninsula (Michigan) to Washington Island (Door County, Wisconsin).

I am planning a cycling trip traveling counterclockwise around Lake Michigan. I would really like to go from the Shingleton State Forest Area in Michigan (Garden, Fairport, Big Bay de Noc) to Washington Island in Wisconsin (Door County), somehow across the water. Basically, I think it'd be super to cycle down Door County. I have Googled, and Googled, to no avail.

It's about 15 miles from Fairport to Washington Island, as the crow swims. I'd be perfectly happy to pay a private captain to take me across, but wouldn't want to cycle all the way down to Garden or Fairport without knowing if I could find someone. I hope to have a friend with me, so max two people, two bikes.

Thoughts? Ideas? Alms?
posted by letahl to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
You could try calling fishing charter boats in Escanaba; googling "escanaba boat charter" reveals a goodly number of results. If you can schedule yourself well enough to be at a certain point at a certain time, you might be able to find someone who could sail out of Escanaba, transport you across to Washington Island, and then return to Escanaba. How much this would cost, and whether appropriate moorages exist at any of the points you've mentioned, I do not know.
posted by Johnny Assay at 3:27 PM on July 24, 2011

I am not sure about getting across from Fairport to Washington Island as I believe most of the boats in Fairport are commercial fishermen.

You should however ride part way down the Garden Peninsula to Fayette State Park. Fayette is an old iron smelting ghost town that has been preserved as a state park and is located in a beautiful bay. I think it would definitely be worth a visit.

Why don't you ride all the way around Green Bay and then up one side of the Door Peninsula and down the other?

Have you checked out Hunt's Guide to the UP? It is probably the best guide book.
posted by cycleback at 3:30 PM on July 24, 2011

Washington Island has has several charter fishing boats -- assuming they don't have another paying customer something might well be worked out, for a price. The one site I looked at looked listed the price as $320 for four hours of fishing, so if they insist on a minimum this might get a bit expensive, but it couldn't hurt to ask. Kap's Marina might have other suggestions.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2011

Closest thing seems to have a been a one-year ferry service between Escanaba and Sturgeon Bay, now defunct.

I wondered if there were any options to get to Beaver Island from the UP and then a passenger charter from there, as they serve the tourist trade, but the only scheduled service is between the island and Charlevoix on the lower peninsula. There are charter options there (pricing probably to Charlevoix, not UP or Wisconsin) including by air (more expensive!).

You might do better to contact resident boaters in Door County who'd be willing to do a round trip, e.g. this forum.
posted by dhartung at 2:19 PM on July 25, 2011

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