Arcadia Michigan – Inspiration Point M-22 Scenic Overlook
Since Jess and I are often exploring along the M-22 corridor… We’d like to share with you, one of our favorite spots on the Lake Michigan coast to enjoy a sunset, Arcadia’s Inspiration Point. If you’re already exploring the beauty along M-22, this breathtaking spot is easily accessible for anyone and everyone to enjoy. It’s just North of Arcadia and is easily found heading North or South on M-22. After a day of hiking, this is often our last stop before heading back to Arcadia to recharge for the next day of exploring.
A bit of Arcadia Overlook background information…
Sitting atop Lake Michigan, Inspiration Point (also known as the Arcadia Overlook) rises to an elevation of 800 feet. This is the highest point along Lake Michigan. Prior to the current platform being built, this was a popular point for (mostly) local folks to climb the top of the dune and enjoy the view. Nowadays, you’ll find a parking area, a lower platform, and 210 stairs to the top viewing platform. Once you reach the top, you’ll find a telescope affixed to the platform if you’d like to take a closer look at the lake, surrounding wildlife, or perhaps one of the lakers chugging along the horizon.
If you’re a bit more adventurous, there is also a trail along the cliff beyond the viewing platform. In order to access this, you’ll have to hop (or climb through) the fence to enjoy the views there. Just be cautious as it does follow the edge of the cliff’s drop off.
While sunsets are spectacular, this is a good place to enjoy a morning too!
The Arcadia Overlook Inspiration Point is famous for being a prime spot to watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. You’ll also sometimes find amazing light to enjoy during the morning’s sunrise. One morning a few years ago, Jess and I first went to the Arcadia Marsh to capture the sunrise. After the sun had crested the horizon, we decided to check out Inspiration Point. Glad we did! What we witnessed was such a peaceful and serene moment in time. We really enjoyed the sunlight beaming from behind the dune “across the street”, and illuminating the valley where the Arcadia itself is nestled. It made for such a beautiful scene.
Sunsets are why most people stop here to enjoy the view.
As peaceful as a morning overlooking Lake Michigan can be, the real excitement begins when the Golden Hour for the day sets in. Sunset time at Inspiration Point is well worth the proverbial “price of admission” here. Especially when the weather decides to put on a show like the one we witnessed below! Here’s what Jess had to say about this scene which, was following an amazing hike at one of our favorite trails near Arcadia (Old Baldy Trail)…
In Jessica’s words…
“By the time we got back to the car, we could see the colors in the clouds already fading away from the forest canopy, and we figured the the sunset had been a dud and/or missed. But, we decided to check it out anyhow, due to the fact that Inspiration Point was just .5 miles ahead of us (driving wise.)
Boy, are we both glad we did! As soon as we pulled in, we saw an amazing sunset brewing. Not only that, but we had a roll cloud for a cold front, right in front of us! So, we rushed out of the car, with cameras in tow (I even left my phone in the car lol) and grabbed all kinds of photos.
When the cold front part of the roll cloud reached us, we experienced something amazing. Remember, we’re still about 400 feet up a cliff from Lake Michigan at this point. (Maybe only 300 but still, we’re up there.) So we were a lot closer to the clouds than usual. Well, when this roll cloud and cold front reached us, the winds blew up the side of the cliff at us with speeds of at least 40mph. (I literally felt like it was going to blow me backwards on my bum.) Not only that, but during the two minutes of intense winds, the temperature dropped at least 30 degrees.
After those two minutes of amazement and intense winds passed us by, the winds calmed down, and the temperature evened out to be about a 8-10 degree cool down from what it was before the cold front blew by us. Even still, the sunset was simply to die for.”
Here’s the photos… They barely do the scene and experience we witnessed justice!
We truly hope you enjoyed this Arcadia’s Inspiration Point “spotlight”!
More Arcadia area info from Michigan Photography:
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