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Photo Credit: Tom Mortenson
Discover fall’s greatest hits
It’s the perfect time to fall in love with the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon County. Awe-inspiring hikes, postcard-perfect waterfalls, even the ruins of an abandoned mining community—there’s plenty to fill your days in our picturesque corner of the Upper Peninsula. Here are a few things you shouldn’t miss this fall.
Looking for a place to stay? Check out hotels, lodges and cabins in the Porcupine Mountains.
Get out and explore one of the largest remaining tracts of old-growth forest in the Midwest. Pick a route in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, which boasts nearly 90 miles of hiking trails, offering everything from easy afternoon strolls to multi-day backwoods excursions. Notable hikes include the Big Carp River Trail, which follows the escarpment ridge west of Lake of the Clouds before reaching the Big Carp River and then heading to Lake Superior.
Hiking is also available on the North Country Trail (23 miles of this multi-state trail pass through the state park), in the Ottawa National Forest and at the Black River Harbor Recreation Area and the Sylvania Wilderness Area.
Chase some waterfalls
The western Upper Peninsula is a waterfall fan’s paradise, and fall is a great time to discover these cascades—the fall color provides a beautiful backdrop, there are no bugs and crowds are smaller than peak times in the summer. If you’ve never visited Ontonagon County before, two must-see falls are Bond Falls north of Watersmeet and Agate Falls east of Bruce Crossing, picturesque sites that offer easy access from the highway and on-site parking.
Explore the Nonesuch Mine ruins
The Upper Peninsula has a rich mining history, remnants of which can be found at local attractions like Adventure Mine and the Caledonia Copper Mine. But in the southeastern corner of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, you can find evidence of an entire copper mining community that was once home to 300 people, a school, a boarding house and even a baseball team. The Nonesuch Mine—named because there was “nonesuch” occurrence of copper found in sandstone elsewhere in the Copper Country—was opened and closed five different times between 1867 and 1912, and visitors can still see stone foundations and other ruins on the site.
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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