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Name Your Favorite Trails in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The Upper Peninsula has over fifty percent of its landmass in public lands from State Forests, National Forests, National Parks and Lakeshores and land in the public trust. You are never more than a few minutes away from hikable land. But please don't spread it around too much because we want the UP to stay the way it is as one of the last true four season adventure areas in the country. 

That said, for those who have visited (or who are lucky enough to live there), what are some of your favorite areas to hike, camp and bike?

One of my favorites is the Seney National Wildlife Refuge along with land to the west in Hiawatha National Forest as well as to the north in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. 

Let's get a discussion going, eh?

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8 Replies

I just got back from backcountry camping at seven mile creek campsite on the pictured rocks trail, part of the north country trail. Thank you for the tip about the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. I will check that out next time!


My favorite dayhike is the 10 mile loop at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore which includes two waterfalls, miles of clifftop hiking with views along the Lake Superior Shoreline, and Chapel Beach with Chapel Rock.

My favorite for backpacking is the "Grand Loop" at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Starting and finishing at Lake of the Clouds overlook, I hiked this counterclockwise taking the Big Carp River Trail to a campsite along the Lake Superior Trail between the Big & Little Carp rivers. Day two hiked up the Little Carp River Trail to a campsite at Mirror Lake. Day 3 took the North Mirror Lake Trail to the Governor Peak Trail up and over the peak, then up the Escarpment Trail to a campsite near the east end of the Escarpment. Day 3 hiked back to LOC overlook with frequent fantastic views along the way.

These trails in the Porkies are very rewarding and scenic, with waterfalls & cascades on the river trails; a sunset over the water along the Superior shoreline; and awesome clifftop views from the Escarpent east and west of the LOC overlook. If you have enough time, be sure to visit the big waterfalls on the Presque Isle River at the west end of the park.

Pictured Rocks absolutely.  

I did a trip where a buddy and I kayaked out to Chapel Rock and a local outfitter dropped our packs off there for us.  Then we hiked the trail for a few days and then caught a shuttle back to Munising.




I loved the Escarpment Trail for its stunning views of the Porkies and Lake of the Clouds.  It only took a few hours going one way, but could be out and back for a longer day hike.


I concur that this thread shouldn't exsist because keeping this information to ourselves ensures the solitude expected in back country adventures. Bear, wolf, and all sorts of predators can be found, so keep that food secure!


Snowshoeing in the Porcupine forest is wonderful. Looking forward to cross country skiing there next year. The park rangers light oil lamps on the trail and we can't wait to try night time skiing. For those who are "machine" oriented, there are extensive snowmobiling trails.


Pictured Rocks is a must! The longest national trail, The North Country Trail, runs straight through this treasure of a park. 


If if you have an opportunity, slide west to the Apostle Islands in WI. 

@dirkbw Pictured Rocks and Porkies are excellent suggestions. Isle Royale National Park is also in the UP. Finally, in August 2019 I did an NCT section hike of Trap Hills, finishing near Rockland and the historical mining town of Victoria. Very challenging rolling hills, but excellent views at the peaks. And in four days of backpacking we didn't see a single person. We had a few points of evidence of people (crossing logging roads, hearing a plane, hearing a truck in the distance), but saw no people until we exited at Victoria. 


I have many favorites, but one that comes to mind is a recent discovery. The Wilderness Trail at Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a SUPER lightly trafficked trail, but has absolutely stunning views. There's even a backcountry campsite along it (reservation required) if you wish to stay the night!

Tahquamenon Falls State Park, August 2020Tahquamenon Falls State Park, August 2020

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