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Four Day Itinerary

Four Days, Three Nights of Affordable Fun

Discover the Midwest’s last great escape—the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
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Submitted by Joe Kaufman

You’ll find an outstanding list of breathtaking sights and attractions, as well as affordable places to stay, play and eat. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is home to 87 miles of the most striking trails in the Midwest. While visiting the area, take a stroll or go beachcombing along 21miles of pristine beaches on the shores of Lake Superior. Tour the lighthouses, copper mines, ghost towns and waterfalls.

Many area activities are offered for no additional expense. With so many lodging and dining options, you can’t beat the Porcupine Mountains for a memorable vacation experience. For a couple, total trip costs for this trip would range from $400 to $600. For a family of four, the estimate would be $600 to $750. Reasonable cottages, cabins and motels and affordable restaurants and attractions make the Porcupine Mountains an excellent travel value. Plan to prepare your own meals in the comfort of your lodging to keep meal costs down for added savings. Here’s a sample of what a four-day, three-night trip to the Porcupine Mountains might look like.

Printable Itinerary (pdf)

Day 1: Arrive in the Porcupine Mountains

4pm – Arrive and check in at your motel, cottage, cabin or resort.

Submitted by Rick Varecha

You’ll find great lodging options throughout the Porcupine Mountains area. Three communities offer a variety of lodging options to fit any travel budget:

Ontonagon:

Silver City:

White Pine:

5pm – Head to dinner at one Porcupine Mountains great restaurants.
View a complete list of dining options.

Day 2: Trails and Waterfalls

8am – Breakfast.
Trekking the trails takes some serious energy. Before you head out, have a hearty breakfast at one of the area breakfast spots.

 

Submitted by Darcie Stib

9am – Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park* hike.
Before you leave in the morning, have one of the restaurants pack a lunch for you or stop at Pete’s IGA and put together a picnic lunch. Head to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park* and explore some of the 87 miles of quality trails that run throughout the park. The park encompasses 92 square miles and protects one of the largest remaining tracts of virgin wilderness left in the U.S. There are a number of trail choices, with lengths ranging from just under a mile to over 17 miles. One of the most stunning of all the trails is the Lake Superior Trail, which runs for much of its length along the shore of Lake Superior, offering stunning waterscapes and great views of the towering hills. But for this morning’s hike, take on the shorter trails at the Summit Peak Scenic Area, located off South Boundary Road From the parking areas, access several different trails that give wonderful views of the area, including the 1.2-mile Beaver Creek Trail, 3-mile South Mirror Lake Trail, 2.5-mile Lily Pond Trail and the half-mile Summit Peak Side Trail. The truly ambitious hiker can connect to nearly every other trail in the park.

A must-see vista is Lake of the Clouds, a blue gem in the middle of a lush green wilderness. Head to the easily accessible boardwalk just off the 107th Engineers Memorial Highway for some stunning views of the lake as the sun rises over the hills.

1pm – Rockland and an afternoon of Waterfall Hunting.
The Porcupine Mountains area has dozens of excellent waterfalls. There are 90 waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains State Park alone. We’ll be visiting some of the biggest falls located south of the park. Our trip will begin in Rockland, which features several historic sites as well as a museum. We’ll head south from Rockland on Route 45 towards the Old Victoria Falls and Dam. Stop at the Old Victoria Restoration site where miners once lived. Then we’ll head south and stop at O Kun-de-kun Falls, then Agate Falls, then finally Bond Falls, one of the largest and most beautiful falls in the area. For locations of more area waterfalls, visit www.porcupinemountains.com. Bring a camera and be ready to be awed.

5pm – Dinner
Enjoy a hearty U.P. dinner at a Porcupine Mountains restaurant.

9pm – Watch the sunset
Head to the beach, build a campfire and make S’mores. Stay up late to look for the northern lights over Lake Superior.

Day 3: History and Adventure

8am – We’ll wake up early for breakfast and a day of taking in some the Porcupine Mountains area’s most beautiful historical features – lighthouses, copper mines and ghost towns.

11am – Tour of the Lighthouses and Other Historic Sites.

Submitted by Dave Bishop

Head to the Ontonagon County Historical Museum, 422 River Street, Ontonagon, where a tour of the Ontonagon Lighthouse begins. Three tours are given daily during the tourist season. For more information or to make a tour appointment, call 906-884-6165.

After our tour of the lighthouse, you can check out some of the other area lighthouses or head up the Lake Superior coast to some of the historic former mine locations and ghost towns scattered throughout the area. Be sure to ask for more information and any available maps when you take the lighthouse tour.

Noon – Lunch.

1pm – Copper Mine Tour.
Just a few miles east of Mass City, you’ll find the Adventure Mining Company. Choose from one of three underground tours of a historic mine. Tours range from an easy stroll to an exciting three-hour excursion that includes rappelling down a mine shaft. Costs for underground tours begin at $7 for children and $12.50 for adults. For more information, call 906-883-3371 or visit adventureminetours.com.

6pm – Dinner.

8pm – Head over to Black Bear Lanes in White Pine and bowl a few games.

Day 4: Lake Superior Beachcoming and Deaparture

8am – Breakfast.

 

Submitted by Jeff Nottingham

10am – Beachcombing on Lake Superior.
The Porcupine Mountains offer 21 miles of beautiful beaches. Go beachcombing for driftwood, agates, rocks of every shape and size, and surprising treasures. Take a long walk, go wading and enjoy some of the most pristine waterscapes in the Midwest.

1pm – Lunch.

2pm – Visit some of the eclectic shops that dot Silver City.

3pm – Hit the road toward home – until your next Porcupine Mountains adventure!

On the way home, try these suggested routes for great sights and scenery:

 

Submitted by Rebecca Prich

Southbound – Drive the meandering road around Lake Gogebic.

Westbound – Check out Little Girl’s Point, Lost Lake Park, Hiawatha the World’s Tallest Indian, and Interstate Falls.

Eastbound – Visit the shops and galleries in Bruce Crossing, Watton and Covington.

*Vehicle permit required for entering the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – A Michigan Recreation Passport is $11 for MI residents, $5 for a resident motorcycle pass, $30.50 for a non-resident annual pass and $8.40 for a non-resident one-day pass. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.