Cedarville & Hessel are the two mainland towns that have the closest proximity to the Les Cheneaux Island chain. Summer residents first began coming to this area in the late 1800s. The region is particularly suited to boating and sailing enthusiasts, on account of the many bays and areas of protected waters created from the islands bordering these towns. One of this region’s most beloved events, held annually in August, is the Antique Wooden Boat Show at the marina in downtown Hessel. The festival celebrates our region’s long history of enthusiasm for the beauty and craftsmanship of vintage Chris-Craft boats in particular.
The summer season is very busy from Memorial through Labor Day weekend, however many out-of-towners will also make select off-season visits, for attractions including a spring festival celebrating our diverse bird population, and the beauty of the fall color changes. Dining in the area is highlighted by Hessel’s Les Cheneaux Culinary School, which operates a restaurant in the summer and hosts programs in the culinary arts for Lake Superior State University students. Another notable addition to our area resources has been the founding of Cedarville’s Great Lakes Boat Building School, in 2005. Considering this community’s long tradition of wooden boat ownership and appreciation for the many styles of these vintage watercrafts, it made perfect sense for a school to be created here that will offer programs for individuals looking to become accredited in boat building. The school’s mission of providing quality vocational training, while continuing to enrich and support our region’s maritime history, is another great reflection of what makes this area so special.
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