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Historic Sites

Learn about the history of the Porcupine Mountains area

Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the Porcupine Mountains. Take time to visit some of these historic attractions.

Submitted by Jeff Nottingham

Submitted by Jeff Nottingham

Ontonagon County Historical Museum
Learn about the people who have lived and worked in this rugged and beautiful region. You’ll discover the area’s long history of mining, logging and shipping. Learn more.

Ontonagon Lighthouse
Located on the shores of Lake Superior, the Porcupine Mountains area has a deep connection to the Great Lakes shipping industry. The lighthouse in Ontonagon is a remnant of this maritime past. Learn more.

Historic Mine Tours
Many of the earliest European settlements in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were mining towns. The area has a long history of copper, silver and iron mining. While you’re in the Porcupine Mountains, be sure to take a tour of one of the area’s historic mines. The mines are a great place to be on a hot summer day!

  • Adventure Mine
    Tour underground shafts and surface mines. Open late May through mid-October. Located 12 miles east of Ontonagon off M-38. For reservations, call 906-883-3371. Learn more.
  • Caledonia Mine
    Dig for copper, silver, datolite, and more! Tours are available Memorial Day through Labor Day on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. To schedule a Caledonia Mine tour, call 906-884-6618. Learn more.

History of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park was formed in 1945 to protect the area’s large tracts of old growth forest. The designation came as a result of citizens working to protect this natural treasure. The park was originally called Porcupine Mountains State Park. In 1972, the park gained its “wilderness” designation, and the word was added to the park’s name. Today, the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is the only state-designated wilderness area in Michigan.