“This airfield is a diamond in the rough,” RAF Michigan Liaison General Grant said, referring to Hanley Field, 5YZ. It’s located three miles southeast of Munising, MI, which is on the shores of Lake Superior adjacent to the National Park Service Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. He and RAF Director Jeff Russell recognized this, and began imagining what was needed to attract visitors. “Hanley Field has very high recreational value due to its natural beauty, and its proximity to the National Lakeshore,” Grant said.
He and Russell gathered support from the airport manager, local aviators, the Marquette EAA Chapter, and the Alger County Commission Chairman and drew up plans to add visitor amenities to an existing county building. A financial commitment from the RAF will help fund a restroom, shower, kitchenette, and space to accommodate storage and charging of electric bicycles so visitors can tour the town and access the Lakeshore. “Electric bikes will provide an efficient means of traveling the ‘last mile’,” Russell said. Visitors can explore on their own or take a commercial tour to enjoy sand dunes and deep forests, or spectacular views of sandstone cliffs and formations, caves, and waterfalls tumbling into the turquoise freshwater of Lake Superior.
“This area offers fantastic recreational opportunities such as boating, swimming, kayaking, hiking, hunting, trapping, and fishing,” according to Russell. See www.exploremunising.com for more information on area amenities.
The RAF’s commitment to Hanley Field was announced on the field during an RAF anniversary commemoration attended by local pilots, community officials, the National Park Service Officials, and RAF supporters.
To donate to this project as it moves forward, click here, or you may send a check donation to the RAF at 1711 W. College St., Bozeman, MT 59715. Please indicate the donation is for Hanley Field in the online donation notes, or in the check memo.
By Carmine Mowbray
Submitted on August 31, 2023.