Located in the heart of the beautiful Ontonagon County of Michigan’s wonderful Upper Peninsula, The Porcupine Mountains, fondly known as the Porkies, provide miles of gorgeous forests, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches, making this area a must-see destination year round! There are countless breathtaking views to witness and activities to partake in, making this a great place to experience no matter the season!
Located mostly in the Ottawa National Forest, along the shoreline of Lake Superior, the Porcupine Mountains provide countless possibilities for activities! There are many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, downhill and cross-country skiing, horseback riding, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and snowmobiling! There are plenty of landmarks and natural phenomena to witness, like hundreds of waterfalls, copper mines, lighthouses, and even the Northern Lights on some nights!
If you’re looking to pack up your RV to come experience the Porcupine Mountains, there are some great lodging options for you! If you’re looking for a more rustic approach to your stay, there are plenty of backcountry camping options available as well!
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is 60,000 acres and has more than 87 miles of recreational trails that range from 1 to 17 miles! There are two main campgrounds available here, Union Bay Campground and Presque Isle Rustic Campground, as well as some backcountry camping options!
Union Bay Campground
This modern campground sits on the shores of Lake Superior at the eastern entrance of the park. This 100 site park has a sanitation station, bathhouses, and electric hookups, making it a great place for RV camping!
Presque Isle Rustic Campground
Located on the western side of the park, this campground offers a more rustic approach to camping! It is within walking distance to many of the wonderful waterfalls in the area, and has access to many of the scenic hiking trails! There are a limited number of RV sites available here, all of which are located at one end of the campground so the RV generators will not disturb other campers. There are no bathhouses here, and only rustic toilets, so be sure to prep your RV tanks before setting out!
Ontonagon Township Park
If you’re looking to stay a bit outside the state park, this campground is close to the Porcupine Mountains! With full hookup sites, many of which are lakefront sites on Lake Superior, it’s a beautiful, modern campground close to all the fun!
Places To See
Lake of Clouds Scenic Overlook
This area provides gorgeous, breathtaking views of the surrounding forest and water; you can see for miles! A boardwalk spans over the outlooks to be accessible for everyone! Picnic areas and washrooms can also be found here! Many hiking trails intersect here, if you’d like to partake in some rigorous hikes!
Summit Peak Tower Trail
Only a half-mile hike, this short trail leads to Summit Peak, which is the highest point in the park at 1,958 feet. You’ll get an unforgettable view of the park on the viewing deck and observation tower, as you’ll be able to see miles of pristine landscapes!
This impressive man-made dam is a historical site that was restored to recreate the site where miners once lived! This dam produces electricity using the river’s flow for power, and is a must-see stop when staying in the Porcupine Mountains!
There is a rich history of mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as many settlements began around the basis silver and copper mines in the area! You can still tour some of these mines for a spectacular firsthand experience of our state’s interesting history!
There are hundreds of waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains and the areas surrounding them! Different seasons hold different experiences for these waterfalls, with differing water levels and vegetation that can be seen during different times of the year! Here are some of the most highly recommended waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains!
Located in the area surrounding the Porcupine Mountain region, this waterfall cascades over tiered rocks for an unbelievably picturesque view!
Heralded as one of the best waterfalls in the region, you’ll be mesmerized by the water as it rushes over a 50-foot drop!
Manabezho and Manido Falls
Both located on the Presque Isle River, these great waterfalls are stunning! Manabezho’s roaring waters feature a 25-foot drop and is popular with kayakers! Manido Falls is a relaxing, more flat and long waterfall that runs over several levels of rock. Very beautiful!
With over 87 miles of recreational trails in Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park alone, there are plenty of great routes for anyone from the novice to most advanced hiker! Here are some favorites!
East and West River Trails
Boardwalks and viewing platforms along this trail allow you to see the amazing waterfalls and rapids of the Presque Isle River! Both are just over one mile long making them great for a casual hike!
Union Spring Trail
Union Spring is a sight to see, as it is the second largest natural spring in Michigan! With a total trail length of 4 miles, it’s a great intermediate hike!
Lake Superior Trail
This trail runs along the Lake Superior shoreline, for gorgeous views of this Great Lake! This is the longest and most difficult of the hikes in the state park, with a total trail length of 17.1 miles.
Plan A Visit!
Now that you have all the inside information on the greatest features of the beautiful Porcupine Mountains, you should be sure to make it your next Michigan road trip destination! No matter what season you decide to visit, you can be sure that this amazing place will have plenty of activities and breathtaking views for you to enjoy!