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Photo Credit: Louka Pomplun
3 classic fall drives in the Porkies
Fall is a special time to travel through the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon County. Every bend of the road brings a new splash of color and a new vista to savor, and thanks to the proximity to Lake Superior, trees here hold their colors longer than some destinations to the south. Whether you’re driving a car or riding your motorcycle, there’s plenty to see. Fill up your tank and get ready to be dazzled.
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Silver City-Lake Gogebic Loop (1 hour, 45 minutes; approximately 80 miles)
This scenic loop covers a beautiful swath of the Ottawa National Forest and takes motorists through some incredible fall color. Leaving Silver City, head into the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and head south on South Boundary Road. You’ll pass Little Union Gorge Falls and then five miles later, Nonesuch Falls; allow time to pull over at both waterfalls. Where South Boundary Road hits the westernmost edge of the state park, you’ll find three outstanding waterfalls—Manabezho, Manido, and Nawadaha falls. Next, head south on County Road 519 to Wakefield, then travel east on M-28 to Bergland, located on the northern shore of Lake Gogebic. Finally, head north on M-64 back to Silver City to complete the loop.
White Pine to Lake of the Clouds (45 minutes; approximately 30 miles round-trip)
You don’t have to drive far to find brilliant fall color. For a shorter, spectacular trip out of White Pine, take M-64 north to the shore of Lake Superior. Head west into the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. When you get into the park, you’ll want to get out of the car top take in the view from the lakeshore. Drive a little further to reach a spectacular lookout above the iconic Lake of the Clouds. The vista is always memorable, but in the fall, it’s particularly breathtaking. Return the way you came, enjoying every scenic mile.
Ontonagon-Lake Superior Loop (1 hour, 25 minutes; approximately 80 miles)
Drivers who take this scenic route will enjoy breathtaking fall vistas along Lake Superior and tree-lined highways that cut through the heart of the Ottawa National Forest. From Ontonagon, head west on M-64 to Silver City, then head south on M-64, then south to Bergland. Head east along M-28 and connecting with Highway 45 at Bruce Crossing. Travel north on Highway 45 to Rockland, then proceed north back to Ontonagon.
Note: Please travel safely and responsibly when you are visiting the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon County. Some businesses and facilities may have modified hours or procedures; please contact them directly for information. See Michigan’s latest coronavirus orders here.
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