Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary
and Underwater Preserve
Click a glove for more detailed information.
If you are leaving for Alpena and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary...
From the south you should take the I 75/US 23 expressway north to Standish (just north of Saginaw Bay.) The 1 mile long exit ramp comes to a hair pin curve just before merging into north bound traffic, follow US 23 north through Standish until you come to the M 65 intersection and its stop light. Depending on your schedule you may decide to stay on the shoreline US 23 route that will take you through a half dozen lake shore communities or if you are running on a tighter schedule you may decide to turn left on M 65. This route takes you through 3-4 much smaller cities and has less traffic delays but it ends up 14 miles to Alpena's west at the intersection of M 32. You can shave off a few more miles if you can catch the Werth Road turn off which is just north of the Beaver Lake Rd. intersection. In either case make a right turn to head easterly and Alpena.
From the west M 72 to M65 seems the most preferable route although M 32 has recently been re-aligned and resurfaced.
From the north US 23 is the most preferable route due to the absence of any small communities other than Rogers City from Alpena all the way to Cheboygan 80 miles to the north.
Talk has been made of a Car Ferry running from Manatoulin Island, Ontario to Alpena but the US and Canada seem to have a problem cross granting such a service. Alpena is also blessed with Phelps Collins Air National Guard Base/Alpena County Airport, which has one of the few 5000' landing strips in Northern Michigan.
Messaba Airlines (a NorthWest affiliate) are currently running three flights a day that connect with Detroit Metro, Flint, and Soo St. Marie.