Michigan Road Trip: A blast to the past in Monroe County - WNEM TV 5

Michigan Road Trip: A blast to the past in Monroe County

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MONROE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

It's a blast to the past at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.

The park is in Monroe County, just southwest of Detroit. The battle that was fought there took place not too long after America gained its independence from Great Britain.

"That was the biggest war ever fought on Michigan soil. Ultimately the largest casualties for the United States in the entire War of 1812 happened right here,” said Scott Bentley, park superintendent.

Many people don't realize it’s the only national park in the Lower Peninsula and there are plans to make it much, much bigger.

Bentley has been in charge since the park opened six years ago. 

"The first time I arrived, the visitation was below 20,000 visitors and it's beginning to be known. We had over 202,000 visitors last year from 49 states and 24 nations,” Bentley said.

Plans call for the park to expand to Wayne County, where other skirmishes and troop movements took place during the war. 

The battlefield isn't far from Lake Erie and another beach.  If you're looking for a refreshing dip, you'll want to take in the Luna Pier Beach.

"We welcome families here, and they can come out here. They're safe, they can feel safe and just enjoy the beach,” Mayor Dave Davison said.

About 30 miles away from Luna Pier Beach you'll find a sportsperson's paradise. The giant bronze of two grizzly bears stands in front of a Cabela’s super store located in Dundee, right along US-23.  

"Right when you walk through the front door, the mountain, it's cool to stand out front and see people when they come in through that front door, especially for the first time. They walk through the aisle and they see this mountain,” Chad Andrus said.

It’s one of largest Cabela stores in the world with 225,000-square feet of retail space. 

Along with the impressive display of mounted wildlife, there's also an aquarium that customers can stroll through.

Before leaving the store with their purchases they can even grab a bite to eat. Just make sure you don't cast a line into the stream or pond in the store to catch your dinner.   

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