Once you get hooked on this shocking-blue lake on Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP), you won't be able to stay away. Year after year, families return to the 18-mile-long, finger-shaped lake--the UP's largest--and the nearby forested wilderness (30 miles east of Ironwood).
Scattered cabins and campgrounds surround Gogebic's (pronounced Go-gih-bik) waters. You soon settle into the easygoing pace of this longtime resort area, where you can find solitude or camaraderie, whichever you choose.
Some vacationers cruise the lake in pontoon boats, claiming their own private coves. Others swap fish tales at bait shops in the resort town of Bergland, located on the lake's north end, or at family-friendly resorts.
After going their separate ways during the day, about 30 members of Joe Finco's family always gather around a campfire in the evenings at Lake Gogebic County Park on the lake's south side. Anglers report on their luck landing walleye and northern pike. Even the kids seem tranquil, drowsy after a day of squealing and splashing in waters off the park's sandy beach.
"I've been coming to Lake Gogebic every summer for 41 years," says Joe, who lives in Ironwood. Jim and Joyce Zook travel a little farther. "We come to canoe, fish and everything else," says Jim, a Michigan native who lives in North Carolina. Sun glints off the lake, as they eat a breakfast of fried walleye and eggs on the deck of The Fisherman Resort.
When visitors can bear to pull themselves away from the lake, they might hike or bike some of the 200 miles of trails in Ottawa National Forest, which cradles Gogebic. Nearly everyone climbs the trail to Alligator Eye, a rocky knob with far-reaching vistas. The view is just one of the attractions bound to draw you back to Lake Gogebic.
For more area information, contact:
Lake Gogebic Area Chamber of Commerce (906/842-3611; lakegogebicarea.com)
Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association (800/562-7134; uptravel.com)