Big Bay de Noc: The Shimmering Waters of Michigan

"Welcome to Big Bay de Noc!"

“Welcome to Big Bay de Noc!”

On the Southern shores of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, along the coastline of Lake Michigan, a small body of water known as Big Bay de Noc became my closest, largest, and wettest neighbor.  This body of water forms along a small peninsula about 40 to 50 miles east of Escanaba along the Upper Peninsula and eventually empties out into the massive body that is Lake Michigan.

Big Bay de Noc is a bay in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The bay, which opens into Lake Michigan’s Green Bay, is enclosed by Delta County.  The small Delta County settlements of Garden and Nahma are harbors on the shore of the bay.  The bay’s name comes from the Noquet (or Noc) Native American people (thought to have been related to the Menominee of the Algonquian language group), who once lived along the shores.

Garden, Michigan

Garden, Michigan

During my few days in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I stayed in the tiny town of Garden, approximately 50 miles east of Escanaba.  While staying at my in-laws, I found myself awestruck by the sheer size and beauty of Big Bay de Noc.  As someone who is from Long Island, finding a freshwater oasis for swimming is almost impossible, considering that the Atlantic Ocean or the Long Island Sound are your only options.  Or perhaps Oyster Bay, which technically empties into the Long Island Sound, but feels like a lakeside dip.

Since there was little erosion, there wasn’t a grain of sand to be found; just thousands and thousands of rocks lining the shore, which yielded a clear view of the bottom.  Well, at least for the first few yards before the lake grew deeper.  Anchored alongside the dock was a party boat, or barge that we used for cocktails and an afternoon of drinking and schmoozing.  The water, by the way, was so nice!  For the first few minutes, the cold temperature of the water really does take your breath away!  But after a bit, it really feels like paradise!

Waters of Big Bay de Noc

Waters of Big Bay de Noc

While cruising the waters of Big Bay de Noc, I also did a little wildlife spotting.  The forest yielded a few friendly critters like deer, rabbits, squirells, and a horde of insects.  In fact, the spider population is quite noticeable; they do provide a small purpose: their webs trap a whole lot of small insects (flies, mosquitos, gnats, etc.) that can be quite a bother to the humans of the area.  I’m not too keen on our arachnid friends, but their webs are quite impressive.  Thankfully, their weren’t any poisonous ones like the dreaded funnel web and black widow that are seen throughout Australia.

"I asked him, and apparently, he hates being called Itsy Bitsy Spider..."

“I asked him, and apparently, he hates being called Itsy Bitsy Spider…”


Lunchtime with a spider

Lunchtime with a spider

"Along came a spider's lunch..."

“Along came a spider’s lunch…”

One particular animal that I spotted during my lake excursion was the majestic bald eagle.  That’s right!  America’s national bird has its home in the temperate woods in this part of the Wolverine State.  I had never seen one in the wild before, and it was such a sight to behold!  The wing span was so long, the trademark yellow beak shone like a beacon, and I was impressed with how it was able to balance on a narrow perch.

The Bald Eagle: A Proud American Symbol!

The Bald Eagle: A Proud American Symbol!

"So that's where the logo from Republic Pictures came from."

“So that’s where the logo from Republic Pictures came from.”

"Prepping for take-off..."

“Prepping for take-off…”



At night, the lake exudes a magical aura that is unlike anything I have ever seen before.  First off, because I was further north than Long Island, and because it was the middle of summer, the days last longer; the sun doesn’t set below the horizon until after 10:00 pm!  This extra hour of day allows for some fun on the lake.  I watched my brother-in-law hit the surface on waterskiis.  The water reflected by the sunset sky turned the lake into a ethereal tableau of pink, purple, yellow, and blue.

Big Blue Sea?  How about Big Pink Lake!

Big Blue Sea? How about Big Pink Lake!

"Get your skis shined up, grab a stick of Juicy Fruit!"

“Get your skis shined up, grab a stick of Juicy Fruit!”


About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
This entry was posted in Michigan, North America, United States of America, Upper Peninsula and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Big Bay de Noc: The Shimmering Waters of Michigan

  1. Alisoun Brewster says:

    Oh Jared–what a lovely write-up of our little place in heaven. You really captured it’s essence. We loved havng you there and look forward to your return trip!!

  2. David Burgess says:

    Fantastic Jared….looks almost surreal so pristine does it look. My wife and I went to Alaska from Australia last year and being good old Aussies were blown away when sighting some eagles in Juneau sitting high above…they just seem to sit up high and take everything in…you can almost see them thinking….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *