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The UP in the spring?

California
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The UP in the spring?

Hi All,

We took a vacation in the UP a few years ago in the early fall, and it was wonderful!

I was wondering what it's like there in the spring? I've read there are a lot of mosquitoes and black flies that bite. Does this leave Spring an undesirable time to go in reality? I would imagine it's green and lovely and the waterfalls are flowing. Sounds like a beautiful place for bike riding, but for the bugs??

Any other suggestions for activities in Spring (and early summer)?

BTW, we encountered some mosquitoes in Yosemite when we visited in Spring, and they really seemed to love my hubby especially. Is this any comparison or is it unbearable??

Thanks! :)

Chicago's North...
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1. Re: The UP in the spring?

the locals can probably give you a better answer to your post, but i'll give it a shot...

what part of spring do you plan to visit?

early, as in march/april=winter

late, as in june=could be summer-like, or it could still be pretty cold....

if it were me, i'd opt for late spring/early summer for summer-ish activities (hiking, camping, bike riding, kayaking etc...).... then again, if you want to do winter-type activities (xc skiing, downhill, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing etc) in relatively milder conditions than mid winter, then early march would be the time to go, most years....

bugs and temps can be a crapshoot... we were there this past august and there were almost no skeeters or biting beach (stable) flies... but the yoop had a drought much of the summer... another year, we went to isle royale in june and the skeeters on the island were ruthless in some areas...plus, that year (2006), there was record heat---mid 90's in marquette while we were there...

also, a word about biting bugs around the great lakes: skeeters, while they can be relentless, are manageable... douse yourselves in deet and you're good to go... beach, or stable flies are a different story... they look like regular house flies, but they bite like deer flies (yeah, the yoop has those too) and are ruthless.... but, unlike deer flies, they can swarm in the millions, mainly along the beaches...... on bad days, it's not uncommon to see a hundred of them attacking you, no lie... and deet does not work... in august, we were very lucky as we spent a lot of time on miner's beach at pictured rocks.... it was a great time on a beautiful, exotic beach.....but no flies....

i always hear about "black" flies, but i'm not sure what they are... perhaps people mean the above stable/beach flies, or they are another menace....

btw, years ago, i camped in yosemite and the skeeters were horrible at this particular campground.... so, i guess it depends on where you are and the conditions...

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2. Re: The UP in the spring?

For waterfalls you have be up here a little earlier in the summer/late spring. They tend to dry up pretty fast. The road biking (which I assume is what you mean) is pretty good up here. The mosquitos will leave you alone when you are on your bike and away from the water they aren't bad. But, like the other poster said, it's a crap shoot.

In the spring/early summer we like to bike, hike, and kayak. You'll be coming at a good time.

California
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3. Re: The UP in the spring?

Thank you both for the replies!

Lungfruit, do you Deet up before going out on the water kayaking?

Those beach flies sound SCARY!!!!

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4. Re: The UP in the spring?

In the 25 years that I lived in northern Michigan, I never encountered flies like that.

Chicago's North...
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5. Re: The UP in the spring?

back in 2001, we sea kayaked the apostle islands... on sand island, the flies were like i described---luckily, i brought a pair of sweats for hiking... the flies like to swarm around your ankles... i could feel their tweeters poking thru my pants! with each swipe, i would kill a dozen at a time.... so, if you plan to sea kayak on lake superior, more than likely, you'll be wearing a wetsuit, which offers total protection from all biting insects....

on another trip, to south manitou island (sleeping bear dunes), we encountered a similar situation on certain parts of the island, but not quite as bad... even when they are moderate, they can still ruin your day at the beach.... around my neck of the woods, you can tell when the flies are around: the beaches are deserted.....

California
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6. Re: The UP in the spring?

Whoa! How long does the fly season last?

We had no probs with bugs at all when we were there in mid/late Sept. BTW.\

Thanks for the info!

So besides the Swarms from Planet Eek, what else is great about visiting the U.P. in the Spring? (Thinking after the snow melts... May?)

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7. Re: The UP in the spring?

We have never needed any bug spray when paddling on the big lake. On the inland lakes I would.

The flys can last all summer, but they usually aren't a problem. I have seen "the swarm" but only once in the last 7 years. It lasted all of about 4 hours, then the wind shifted, and they were gone.

Chicago's North...
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8. Re: The UP in the spring?

they also settle down when the sun goes down... again, the flies can be hit or miss... so i definitely wouldn't plan a trip around the flies----just plan your trip as you would...

may would still be a bit cold, plus the foliage would likely not be leafed out yet, so it would be a bit drab... i'd opt for june....

michigan
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9. Re: The UP in the spring?

I wouldn't go in May, you'll likely freeze or face a lot of rain. The black flies come around Memorial Day and last to around the 4th. They basically gnaw mostly around the neck and ears and leave scabs. It sounds horrible and while they're aren't as bad as all that, they still aren't enjoyable. Biking woudn't be an issue with them - as someone mentioned. Late June would be a better bet for the weather (and maybe the flies will be gone) and the "green" of which you fantasize.

Pensacola, Florida
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10. Re: The UP in the spring?

I've never had problems with flies/mosquitoes in the Spring. It's normally still too cold for them until summer time.