MARQUETTE, Mich. (AP) — The small coastal communities of Grand Marais and Munising in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are struggling to deal with a growing influx of tourists visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The swarms of people who visit have created shortages in hotel rooms and campground sites and have caused traffic, transportation and parking concerns. They’ve overwhelmed local restaurants, with some being forced to stop taking orders hours before closing, while others have run out of food.
Munising Mayor Rod DesJardins tells The Mining Journal of Marquette that Munising is no longer the U.P.’s best kept secret. A National Park Service report released in April says 723,000 people visited the lakeshore last year. That’s up from 561,104 visitors in 2011.
Local officials are looking at ways to deal with the problem.