August 25, 2013
Looking to Eco-fy your late summer and fall travel? Here’s Part Three of our Eco Travel Roundup. Hope your favorite eco destinations made our list. If not, post your eco travel favorites on our Facebook page and we’ll consider them for our fall travel series.
Mackinac Island, Michigan
Given that Michigan revolutionized the world with the automobile, the complete lack of automotive transportation on Mackinac Island can come off as ironic. But the island’s 1898 ban on automobiles has resulted in clean, noise-free air and a quaint, village ambiance filled with the soft clopping of horses. Other than emergency vehicles, people on Mackinac Island use their feet, bikes, horses and horse-drawn carriages to get around.
Enjoy a spot of golf, a relaxing massage at the Lilac Tree Spa, or take an admission-free walk through Mackinac Island State Park, which spans over 80 percent of the island. Take advantage of summer’s warmth and attend the variety of arts, music and food festivals and workshops. And don’t forget to take a moment out of your day to see the spectacular sight of hundreds of butterflies in flight at the Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory and the Mackinac Island Butterfly House.
Photo Credit: Flickr
6. Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin
Nestled on the banks of the Kickapoo River, the story of Soldiers Grove has been one of floods, destruction and reconstruction. Following the disastrous flood of 1978, federal funds made possible the relocation of the village’s downtown. The funding was partially obtained because the village agreed to incorporate solar heating in all the new buildings. Over 20 new buildings were constructed, utilizing solar energy for at least 50 percent of heating needs. “Solar Town” was born.
Aside from its widespread use of solar power, Soldiers Grove is located in West Central Wisconsin, commonly known as Amish country. The area has the fourth-largest Amish population in the nation. As a result, you can find some of the most beautiful handmade quilts, baskets and furniture directly from the source.
Other than floods, the Kickapoo River and the wilderness around it offer some truly gorgeous scenery for canoeing, hiking, hunting, fishing and camping. You can also walk The Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail and enjoy the songs of over 300 recorded species of birds. Biking enthusiasts can ride along the first rails-to-trails conversion in the state, the 33-mile Elroy-Sparta-Trail, located only minutes from Soldiers Grove.
Photo Credit: Soldiers Grove