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Great Lakes Island Escapes

Ferries and Bridges to Adventure

Maureen Dunphy

Award Winner

Canadian Studies, Ecology, Great Lakes, Michigan

Painted Turtle

Published: May 2016
ISBN: 9780814340400
Pages: 448 Size: 7 x 10
Illustrations: 150 color photos
Published: May 2016
ISBN: 9780814340417
Book Images

The Great Lakes Basin is the largest surface freshwater system on Earth. The more than 30,000 islands dotted throughout the basin provide some of the best ways to enjoy the Great Lakes. While the vast majority of these islands can only be reached by private boat or plane, a surprising number of islands—each with its own character and often harboring more than a bit of intrigue in its history—can be reached by merely taking a ferry ride, or crossing a bridge, offering everyone the chance to experience a variety of island adventures.

Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure
explores in depth over 30 of the Great Lakes Basin islands accessible by bridge or ferry and introduces more than 50 additional islands. Thirty-eight chapters include helpful information about getting to each featured island, what to expect when you get there, the island’s history, and what natural and historical sites and cultural attractions are available to visitors. Each chapter lists special island events, where to get more island information, and how readers can help support the island. Author Maureen Dunphy made numerous trips to a total of 135 islands that are accessible by ferry or bridge in the Great Lakes Basin. On each trip, Dunphy was accompanied by a different friend or relative who provided her another adventurer’s perspective through which to view the island experience.

Great Lakes Island Escapes covers islands on both sides of the international border between the United States and Canada and features islands in both the lakes and the waterways that connect them. Anyone interested in island travel or learning more about the Great Lakes will delight in this comprehensive collection.

Published by: Painted Turtle

Maureen Dunphy teaches writing workshops for Springfed Arts and, through Dunphy Consulting Services, coaches writers and provides editing services for individuals and institutions. She has taught writing courses at Oakland University, the University of Windsor, and Oakland Community College and facilitates writing workshops on islands and on the mainland. She has published poetry in Beyond the Lines: Writing What You Couldn’t Say, fiction in Bear River Review, and nonfiction in Peninsula: Essays and Memoirs from Michigan. She lives on the lower peninsula of the "Mitten State" but frequently escapes to Great Lakes islands, including to her cottage on Ontario’s Pelee Island.

Part travelogue and part fact-filled guidebook, Maureen Dunphy’s Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure presents the reader with an insightful and engaging account of the history, natural wonders, recreational opportunities, and local flavor of more than two dozen Great Lakes Basin islands.

– Phil Porter, Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks

In this informative and entertainingly written book, Maureen Dunphy portrays these very special places from all across the Great Lakes. In doing so, she is able to beautifully capture the essence of the phrase ‘Island Time.’ This book will be a fine addition to the travel literature of our Inland Seas.

– Arthur M. Woodford, author of This Is Detroit: 1701–2001 (Wayne State University Press, 2001) and Michigan Companion

As a kid growing up on Grosse Ile, I was considered an ‘Islander.’ In Great Lakes Island Escapes, Maureen Dunphy skillfully weaves the information you need in order to visit with tales of why adventures in the middle of the Great Lakes are always superior to those on the mainland.

– Jim DuFresne, author of Isle Royale National Park: Foot Trails and Water Routes

In Great Lakes Island Escapes, Maureen Dunphy presents the islands as a network of understanding. Called minisan in Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe), these little bits of earth are the ears and eyes and bellybuttons of Gichigaming, the single system of five connected Great Lakes. These are the places where senses are heightened, where the connection between land, water, and life is more apparent. In each stopping place, Dunphy shares the necessary details for navigation and recounts the way spirits are lifted, moose are greeted, lives are remembered, and fires are kindled. She helps readers see the balance between silent ancient gardens and the hum of ferry motors, lighthouses and shipwrecks, the natural and the hand-hewn. Mostly she helps readers hear the call of the lakes and the little islands strung like stars around them. It would be hard to read this book without heading for one of the islands in real life or your next dream.

– Margaret Noodin, assistant professor in English and American Indian studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and author of Weweni: Poems in Anishinaabemowin and English (Wayne State University Press, 2015)

Great Lakes Island Escapes is a combination of the author’s personal experiences and loving reminiscences woven in with history, photographs, cultural attractions, local color, and her recommendations for each island’s most compelling sites and captivating activities. Whether you’re a Great Lakes island aficionado or a curious adventurer, Maureen Dunphy’s unique guidebook is an essential, intimate, traveling companion.

– Michael Steinberg, founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction and author of Still Pitching, winner of the 2003 ForeWord Magazine Gold Medal for Memoir/Autobiography

Dandy research, enticing photos. Eventually it’ll warm up around here, so take a trip and let Dunphy be your guide.

– Detroit News, Neal Rubin

One unexpected — but highly valuable — portion of the book is the extensive bibliography of island resources.

– Bill Castanier, Lansing City Pulse

For armchair travelers or for those who like to map out there [sic] itineraries, this book is a gem.

– Michigan Historical Review

Great Lakes Island Escapes is rich with practical information for potential travelers, but its greater appeal is found in the passion for Great Lakes islands that is so eloquently articulated in the book. . . . Maureen Dunphy succeeds in making readers long to visit the islands she describes, and she sparks reader commitment to helping protect these island destinations.

– Jacqueline Justice, Inland Seas

Maureen Dunphy (https://www.facebook.com/Maureen-Dunphy-183053692052688) ’s new book, Great Lakes Island Escapes: Ferries and Bridges to Adventure (http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1493077) takes us on an amazing journey to more than 100 of these slivers of land...It is not an exaggeration to call this book epic; each chapter begins and ends with quotes from the journals that Dunphy kept...Check out this 2017 Michigan Notable Book and learn more than you ever thought possible about the stunning natural wonders that surround our beautiful state.

– Patti F. Smith, AADL Pulp

Deserves to be called THE guide for planning a trip to any Great Lakes island reachable by bridge or ferry. The book tells the reader everything they need to know for planning a one-of-a-kind vacation.

– Michigan in Books

  • 2016 Foreword INDIES Book Award - Result: Finalist for Travel
  • 2016 Midwest Book Awards - Result: Winner in the Recreation/Sports/Travel category
  • 2017 Michigan Notable Book Award - Result: 1 of 20 selected annually
  • 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards - Result: Winner in the Travel/Travel Guide category