“silhouette shaped like a porcupine!”
The Porcupine Mountains, or Porkies, are a group of small mountains spanning the northwestern Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Ontonagon and Gogebic counties, near the shore of Lake Superior. The area is part of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The Porcupine Mountains were named by the native Ojibwa people, supposedly because their silhouette had the shape of a porcupine. The Porcupine Mountains were the site of copper mining in the 19th century. One of these mines is the Nonesuch Mine, which operated sporadically from 1867 to 1912. The Porkies are also the location of a large stand of old growth forest, and home to many black bears. The area is popular among tourists, especially the Lake of the Clouds in the heart of the mountains. The most striking geological feature of the Porcupine Mountains is the long basalt and conglomerate escarpment parallel to the Lake Superior shore and overlooking Lake of the Clouds, a continuation of the same copper-bearing bedrock found farther northeast on the Keweenaw Peninsula. A second ridge farther inland, on the other side of Lake of the Clouds, includes Summit Peak, the highest point in the mountains at 1,958 feet (595 m). Rivers, waterfalls, swamps, and lakes lie between the rocky outcroppings. There are a number of waterfalls on the Presque Isle River in the extreme western side of the park.
The weather can be BRUTAL so pack accordingly. The campgrounds are pretty rustic, so if you're not used to that/prepared for that, it can be even more challenging. That being said, the trails and scenery are really outstanding.
Porcupine is a great park with varied scenery. Lake of the Clouds is stunning. They are about 87 miles of trails in the park. They vary from easy to strenuous. They have some primitive cabins in the interior that you can rent.
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Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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