Bad Axe Mi is a vibrant little city in the exact middle of Huron County. Its position in the middle of Michigan’s Thumb makes it an excellent starting point for road trip adventures in the area. With a population of just over 3,100, it’s the largest community in the county. So it’s no wonder that a little city is a great place for shopping and stocking up before you head to your shoreline lodging or cottage. Bad Axe even has its own hometown radio station, WLEW, and newspaper, The Huron Daily Tribune.
Because it’s so centrally situated, the town is only minutes from the beaches. To the east, Harbor Beach is only a 21-minute drive. To the west, Sebewaing is 30 minutes, and to the north, the jumping coastal town of Port Austin is only 20 minutes away. So here are the top ten things to do in Bad Axe Mi that are only minutes away.
Here are some neat ideas of things to do right in town or are a short drive away. As they say, this is the tip of the iceberg. Check out our other great things to see and do at the bottom of the article
#1 Pioneer Log Village and History Museum in Bad Axe Mi
The Bad Axe Historical Society is the curator of the largest collection of authentically restored pioneer log buildings in Michigan. Located behind the Bad Axe City Hall, the pioneer log cabins make up a sort of mini-museum collection. The rustic cabins were donated and moved from various locations around Huron County. Each cabin contains antiques, household goods, and artifacts of the period. The Society has done an excellent job of preserving and presenting this collection of log structures.
The log cabin village is open during the summer months every Sunday from 2-4 pm through Labor Day.
#2 Disc Golf at Camper’s Haven Family Campground
A short drive south down M-53 you will see the Campers Haven Family Campground. For only $5 you can play one of the highest-rated private disc golf courses in the region. It’s 18 holes lightly wooded on gentle terrain. Perfect for those who are just learning the sport. The latest ratings mention that the courses Innova Discachter baskets are in great shape. The course utilizes trees and natural boundaries to force some shot shaping.
#3 Golf at Verona Hills Golf Club Near Bad Axe Michigan
Verona Hills is a short drive east of town. It’s a semi-private course which means if you are a visitor you can get a tee-time without being a member. This course is beautiful. 18 hole championship course in gently hilly and wooded terrain. It’s a perfect getaway in a small town country club setting.
Since Bad Axe is in the center of Huron County, there are many great courses only a few minutes’ drive from town. The Golf Courses of the Upper Thumb give a review of each of the links in the area.
#4 Explore the Bad Axe District Library At Bad Axe Michigan
One unusual aspect of living in a small town is just how busy the local library is. The Bad Axe district library always seems to have events taking place for kids and families, so it’s worth checking out the Bad Axe District Library Facebook Page to see what is currently taking place.
The library is home to digitized local newspapers from the 1860s to the 1920s. So if you are researching genealogy, it’s a great place to see if your family is part of the local lore. In addition, the library is known for its large WiFi hotspot. Perfect for checking in with work or email when you are in town.
#5 Visit A Vineyard at Dizzy Daisy Winery
The Thumb region was always an area for growing grapes and fruit. With the moderating effects of being surrounded by Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay, fruit production was huge in the 1800s. With the popularity of Michigan locally sourced wines, several vineyards and wineries have taken root in the Thumb.
The Dizzy Daisy Winery grows many of the fruits and grapes used for handcrafted wines. So, in addition to wine tasting, you can stroll through the vineyard to check out the grapes, pick some of the fruits, or enjoy a glass of wine. Dizzy Daisy Wines can be found in many retail stores in Michigan, and if you enjoy homemade fruit wines made of Alpine berry, Blackberry, Black Currant, Blueberry, and many others, this should be on your list to review.
Places Near Bad Axe That Are Worth Seeing
#6 See Petroglyphs at Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park
The Sanilac Petroglyphs are one of our most visited attractions in the Thumb region. Attracting thousands of visitors each year. In addition, the historic park has been featured on the PBS television series Michigan Under the Radar.
These rock carvings, known as petroglyphs, are etched into a sandstone outcrop. The Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park is one of only 54 Petroglyphs in the United States and the only major park with ancient carvings in Michigan. They give us a glimpse into the lives of early Native American artists. The state park is south of Bad Axe Mi near M-53 and Bay City Forestville Road. Watch for signs to the park.
#7 Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse
The Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse ranks among the ten oldest lighthouses in Michigan. Amazingly, notwithstanding its age, the light is still working and maintained by the US Coast Guard. The lighthouse and lifesaving station is located in Lighthouse County Park on Lake Huron, north of Port Hope. A 30-minute drive from Bad Axe.
You can tour the grounds and visit the historical displays. The site offers an excellent review of one of the most disastrous storms ever to hit the Great Lakes; The 1913 White Hurricane. The museum is open to the public, and there is a small gift shop to browse. The tower is open to climb on numerous dates. The Museum is open every day from 10:00 am until dusk, starting with Memorial Day weekend, and closes for the season on October 14th. (There is no admission fee however, donations are greatly appreciated)
#8 Enjoy The Vistas And Wildlife At Fish Point Wildlife Refuge
If you are a bird watcher, then this is the place for you. Known for birders’ ability to get up close to wildlife and offer amazing views, the Fish Point Wildlife Area is a large sanctuary with high bird and wildfowl populations. It’s only 40 minutes from Bad Axe. With over 3,700 acres of land, and includes about seven miles along the Saginaw Bay shoreline.
The Sebewaing FFA (Future Farmers of America) established a nature trail to hike and erected interpretive signs at the Fish Point Wildlife Area in the 1970s. This 1 1/2 mile trail begins at the observation tower and continues along the dike tops of the wetland impoundments managed for wildlife. Interpretive signs are located along the nature trail. The Fish Point Wildlife Area includes a wildlife and waterfowl observation tower and a wetland restoration project.
#9 Charter Fishing on Lake Huron
Bad Axe is only a half-hour drive to the start of some of the best charter boat captains in the state. Caseville plays host to several charter boats that tie up in this scenic harbor each summer. Look for the same opportunity in Port Austin, Grindstone City, Bay Port, Sebewaing, Unionville, Harbor Beach, and Lexington. Try your hand at catching Salmon, Steelhead, Brown, Lake Trout, Walleye, and Perch. For a listing of current captains, visit the Michigan Charter Boat Association site for Lake Huron captains.
#10 The Huron Community Fair
We saved the best for last. If you’re in Bad Axe Mi during the first part of August, make a point to visit the Huron Community Fair. It’s one of the oldest continually running fairs in Michigan. While the kids are intrigued by the rides of the midway, the fair plays host to great animal husbandry exhibits by the youth of the Future Farmers of America (FFA)
The Huron Community Fair has many events during the 10 days it’s open. Harness Racing, Horse Shows, Miracle of Life, and Tractor Pulls. One food vendor, Gibbys Fries, is a Michigan institution that can only be found in this area at Huron Community Fair. Don’t forget to get an ice cream made from milk from local dairy farmers. You will never find a sweeter or fresher taste.
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