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Maritime Heritage Alliance

Voyageur canoes

One of Maritime Heritage Alliance's founding members, Peter Simon, can often be seen behind his tabletop map of the Great Lakes system demonstrating the route of  the fur-trading voyageurs as they paddled from east to west and north to south, back in the days when birch bark canoes were laden with their bounty bound for the East. The MHA's  voyageur canoes, one built by Peter Simon himself, are on display at the Discovery Center-Great Lakes on M-22.




voyageur canoe



The canoes often travel with Peter to festivals and shows throughout the area to give fascinated visitors a glimpse of what it must have been like when the dip of the paddle and the call of the loon were the only sounds heard by the voyageurs, as they made their treacherous way across the Great Lakes.

The upper photo shows Peter Simon at the Inland Seas Classic Boat Show, Suttons Bay, July 2013 explaining to a visitor how the French River in northern Ontario was an important part of the voyageurs' route to the western Great Lakes.

The lower photo shows a replica voyageur canoe in Heritage Harbor near the Madeline (foreground) and the Welcome.


Maritime Heritage Alliance
13268 S West Bay Shore Dr
Traverse City, MI 49684