Birdwatching & wildlife

The Porcupine Mountains are a land of towering pine trees, lush forests and untamed rivers and lakes, so it’s no surprise the area teems with birds and wildlife. In fact, there’s a chance visitors might come across more wild creatures than fellow travelers during their trip to this untamed corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Home to one of the largest remaining tracts of old-growth forest in the Midwest, the Porcupine Mountains supports a large number of bird species. Keen-eyed hikers can see bald eagles, hawks, herons and even peregrine falcons, while deeper in the woods, avid birders may encounter rare warblers (like the blue-throated, green and Blackburnian varieties), pileated woodpeckers and blue jays.

Nearly 400 species of birds have been spotted in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, so there’s always a new species to discover. Birdwatching hotspots include the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Lake of the Clouds and the Sylvania Wilderness Area.

Countless four-legged creatures make their home here, too, including white-tailed deer, beavers, otters, black bear and more. Will you see porcupines? Possibly, though that’s not where the Porcupine Mountains gets its name—early adventurers thought the outline of the trees mimicked the look of the spiny animal.

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Find everything you’ll need for your next trip to the Porcupine Mountains, including lodging, info on local attractions, and much more.