Camping and Hiking
There are few places in the Midwest that offer as many places to backpack and hike as the Upper Peninsula. The Porcupine Mountains, Isle Royale National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are widely known, but it's the hidden gems that make hiking so unique “UP” here! Ever been to the McCormick Wilderness Area? How about Grand Island, or the Trap Hills? With thousands of acres of National Forest we can help you discover many hidden treasures!
Houghton Area Hikes
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARKLocated in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, Isle Royale is one of our favorite backpacking destinations. Accessible only via ferry or sea plane, Isle Royale offers the chance to really get away from the commotion of everyday life.Once on the island you can make your trip as easy or as difficult as you like. There are many different options from relaxing out-and-back day hikes to more strenuous tours up and over the very rugged terrain.
If you’re planning a trip to the Island feel free to stop by and pick our brains. Most of our employees have ventured over there, and for some of us it’s one of our mandatory trips each year. We’ve hiked many of the trails, fished all the secret spots, and have stayed at all of the best sites.
Located just minutes from the Isle Royale Ranger dock, stop by our Houghton store for any essential last minute items like maps, fuel, guidebooks, gear, freeze dried food and more!
MOUNT BALDY (LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN)Drive up the Keweenaw to Eagle Harbor to find this six mile roundtrip hike with a stunning panoramic view of the peninsula and Lake Superior.
MARQUETTE AREA HIKES
MCORMICK TRACT WILDERNESS AREAIf you’re looking to get away from it all, the McCormick Wilderness is a place you definitely need to check out. Located in the north-central part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the McCormick Wilderness consists of 16,850 acres, or about 27 square miles of forested land and small scattered lakes. This rugged land has much to offer outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to hike, backpack, fish, hunt, camp, cross-country ski or snowshoe in a remote undisturbed wooded setting. Stop by the shop for more info as access is very limited and a little insider knowledge goes a long ways.
SUGAR LOAFJust outside of Marquette on County Road 550, this popular hike is a must do for any visitor to town. A well marked trail winds it way to the top of the mountain for panoramic views of the city and surrounding Lake Superior shore line.
MUNISING AREA HIKES
PICTURED ROCKS NATIONAL LAKESHORESandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four season outdoor opportunities abound. The Lakeshore hugs the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles and makes for a memorable multiday backpacking trip, or countless shorter trails can be done in as little as a few hours giving a wide variety of destinations and commitments.
GRAND ISLAND NATIONAL RECREATION AREAGrand Island is a place where sandy beaches and sheer cliffs surround the cedar swamps, hemlock stands, and northern hardwood forests that cover the gently rolling terrain of the interior. Bald eagles, black bear, and the common loon are all found here and it’s these things that make this one of our favorite places to backpack.
OTHER FAVORITE UPPER PENINSULA HIKES
PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS STATE PARKLocated on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Porcupine Mountains are home to the largest tract of old-growth hardwood forests west of the Adirondacks. The pristine forests of the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness support black bear, deer, timber wolves, river otters and even moose, as well as rare woodland plants that depend on the old-growth forest habitat that abounds here. Summer or winter this park is a lot of fun! Some of our favorite trips include staying in one of the backcountry yurts available in the park. This is a pretty cushy way to camp and is a great option for introducing someone new to the backcountry experience.
NORTH COUNTRY TRAILSpanning the entire Upper Peninsula, and a whole lot more, the NCT is great choice for a day, a week, or even a month on the trail. Our favorite section is the Trap Hills near Historic Vicotria Dam.
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