The Lower Peninsula, shaped like a mitten, is separated from Ontario, Canada, on the east by Lake Erie and Lake Huron, and by the Detroit River and the St. Clair River, which together link these two Great Lakes. It is bordered by Lake Michigan on the west, across which lies Wisconsin. The Upper Peninsula lies northeast of Wisconsin between Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, and is separated from Ontario by the narrow St. Marys River.
The Upper Peninsula. known as the U.P. (its residents call themselves Yoopers), is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac; a bridge connecting the two peninsulas was opened in 1957 and has spurred the development of the Upper Peninsula. The eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula has swampy flats and limestone hills on the Lake Michigan shore, while sandstone ridges rise abruptly from the rough waters of Lake Superior; in the west the land rises to forested mountains, still rich in copper and iron.
The northern Michigan wilds, numerous inland lakes, and some 3,000 mi (4,800 km) of shoreline, combined with a pleasantly cool summer climate, have long attracted vacationers. In the winter Michigan's snow-covered hills bring skiers from all over the Midwest. Places of interest in the state include Greenfield Village, a re-creation of a 19th-century American village, and the Henry Ford Museum, both at Dearborn; Pictured Rocks and Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshores; and Isle Royal National Park.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: U.S. Political Geography