In the north of the United States of America lies the federal state of Michigan in the Great Lakes region. It entered the Union on January 26, 1837, becoming the 26th US state. Michigan is uniquely situated between four of North America’s five Great Lakes – Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie. This also makes Michigan the longest coastline of the 48 continental US states. With an area of 253,793 km², Michigan is the 11th largest state in the USA.
Michigan is also unique in that it consists of two peninsulas, separated by the Straits of Mackinac at its narrowest point, reaching a width of only 8 meters. The Upper Peninsula is bordered to the north by Lake Superior and to the south by Lakes Michigan and Huron. It is bordered to the west by the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The lower peninsula borders the states of Indiana and Ohio in the south and is often called a “mitten” due to its specific shape.
The very name of the state is undoubtedly derived from Lake Michigan. It was named in the original Chipewwa Indian language as “mishi-gami”, which means something like “big water”. The surface of the state is mostly flat, there are large clearings. The highest point of Mount Arvon reaches a height of only 603 meters above sea level. Major rivers flow through Michigan, such as the Detroit River, Grand River, Kalamazoo River, St. Clair River or St. Mary’s River.
Approximately 50% of Michigan’s surface is forested, which is of great importance to the timber and woodworking industry. The state has vast and inexhaustible supplies of fresh water, so in the past it was thought that local water would be piped to states with little or no water supplies. However, this proposal was ultimately rejected in the interest of preserving the environment. Today, Michigan is known primarily for its prominent automobile industry. At home, there are car companies such as Ford, General Motors or Daimler-Chrysler.
Other important branches of the state’s economy include mining of iron ore, oil, natural gas and salt. The engineering, metallurgical, chemical, aviation and food industries are also important. Farmers grow corn, wheat, soybeans, sugar beets, vegetables and fruits. Cattle, pigs and sheep are raised.
According to TRACKAAH, Michigan is considered the eighth largest US state by population, with around 10 million people living here. The population density is thus 68 inhabitants per 1 square km. About 85% of the population is white, the remaining percentage is equally divided between blacks, Indians and Asians. Most people are of the Christian faith, Roman Catholics and Protestants predominate. However, a small percentage are also Muslims, Jews and people of other religions.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the capital is Lansing with a population of 120,000. However, Detroit is a much bigger and more important city. It is an important industrial city, where the automotive industry is largely represented. Unfortunately, Detroit is a place with high unemployment and the associated crime rate, which is still one of the highest in the US. From 1815, Detroit was the capital of Michigan for several years, but in 1847 it was replaced by Lansing, located on the Grand River. Other major cities are Grand Rapids, Warren, Flint, Sterling Heights, Ann Arbor, Livonia, Dearborn, and Westland.
The climate of Michigan is significantly influenced by the local Great Lakes, the winters are so cold and the summers are very warm. The highest temperatures in July reach about 30°C and in January the average temperature is around 1°C. The northern region of Michigan is thus very attractive for skiing enthusiasts.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
On the shores of Lake Superior in the state of Michigan is the interesting and protected area of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The coast of the lake is 67 km long and occupies a total area of 296 km2. This is a wonderful place where you can observe endless, differently shaped rocks, natural arches, undulating coastlines, waterfalls and sand dunes. In addition to beautiful nature, the area also offers a number of interesting buildings, including lighthouses.
Sandstone rocks often rise above the lake to a height of 60 meters. Over time, shallow caves, arches and other shapes were carved into them by the action of natural elements, which is why in many places the massifs may remind you of a castle with turrets or human faces. There are no limits to imagination here. You can sail around the rocks on a cruise ship that allows you to see them from all sides.
Pictured Rocks was designated by the US Congress in 1966 as the first official protected lake area in the United States of America. The area is currently managed by the National Park Service and receives around half a million visitors each year. Pictured Rocks provides plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and exploring during all seasons.
At the eastern end of the park is the Grand Sable Dunes area, which protects unique sand formations. The highest dunes here reach a height of up to 85 meters above the lake level. The Grand Island National Recreation Area is also located nearby, which also provides a number of interesting tourist locations.