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LUCE COUNTY — Perhaps you just think of it as a quick stop on your drive across the U.P. on M-28, a small county with a population of just under 6,500 people. But if you venture off the highway just a bit, you will find all that Luce County has to offer…and it’s a lot.
Roberta Huffman, Director of the Newberry Area Chamber of Commerce, says, “There are 161 lakes in Luce County, we have over 300 thousand acres of public land, along with 658 miles of rivers, 200 miles of ORV trails…hiking, biking, snowmobiling, skiing.”
Maybe there’s a few places you know that you didn’t even realize were in Luce County.
Huffman adds, “Tahquamenon Falls State Park had 585,000 visitors last year alone, so Tahquamenon Falls is a huge draw but we also have one of the most beautiful lighthouses, Crisp Point, that was saved from being lost to Lake Superior back in the 1990s.”
And while it was officially named the ‘Moose Capital of Michigan, Newberry, the county seat of Luce, is also home to another group of wildlife.
Dean Oswald, Owner/Founder, Oswald’s Bear Ranch, says, “We have 37 bears, there’s no cages, it’s all habitat area.”
Oswald’s Bear Ranch has been entertaining tourists and locals of Luce County for more than 21 years. Even giving visitors the chance to meet black bear cubs.
Oswald continues, “It’s enjoyable. It’s educational and enjoyable.”
For small towns across the U.P., tourism is everything, and the people brought in from these major attractions makes a big difference.
Huffman explains, “Tourism impacts this area quite a bit, so those numbers means big business for our town.”
Don’t be fooled by the small towns, Luce County has new adventures waiting to be found.
Huffman adds, “Take a look around and discover all the hidden gems that are here.”