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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Garden, Michigan--Upper Peninsula / Fayette Historic State Park Harbor

August 2011, Fayette Historic Marina, weekday, 1-night

Fayette Harbor
We had camped at Fayette State Park several years ago, and always wanted to visit by boat. The trip to Fayette wasn't very pleasant because we traveled in 2 - 4' waves, and we have a 28' powerboat. We did not see any boaters traveling when we were on the way to Fayette, and travelers who were already there, seemed surprised to see a boat pull in.

After docking, we learned that at least one boater had planned to leave the day we arrived, and had changed his mind. The wind was coming out of the SE, so we thought it would be calm after we got inside the harbor. The water was not rough in the harbor; however, the wind was funneling right down the hill, so it was quite windy during our stay. We were even more surprised to see two more boats arrive later that day, because the water became rougher as the day went on. One couple who had traveled on a large sailboat lost their dinghy during their trip over. They said they have been sailing for 12 years, and this day was the roughest weather they had ever traveled in.

Fayette harbor in 2011

Fayette does not offer marina facilities, such as electricity and a bathhouse. There is a self-serve drop box for slip rent/park entrance fees, and a couple of different options for docking. About 6 - 12 boats can tie up to the main dock, depending on the size of the boat and how close together people park. Our cost on the main dock was $17 for the night. I had read that this was $10, so I guess I got my information from an outdated source. Other options after the main dock is full include rafting off to boats on the main dock, anchoring in the harbor, or tying up to pylons near shore. All of these options have a reduced rate. I think it was $10 to anchor in the harbor for any size boat. We were glad that there was room on the main dock during our stay. 

We always enjoy visiting Fayette State Park. The boat dock is located at the Historic Townsite, and there are picnic tables on shore by the boat dock. There are several miles of walking trails within the park, and there is a visitors center and gift shop a short walk uphill. The pathway to the gift shop is paved and cement, and there are flush toilets in this building. The only facilities other than that, are pit toilets throughout the park, and showers in the campground area about 1/2 mile away.