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Go on a historical scavenger hunt in the Porcupine Mountains

Visitors to the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon County in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula will find a region with a long and engaging history, from Native American and early European settlements to the copper rush of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Take a road trip through the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon County to discover these unique historical attractions. Be sure to share your photos with us on Instagram with the hashtag #PorkiesPast and by tagging @porcupinemountainscvb.

  1. Find the original 1857 Fresnel lens from the Ontonagon Lighthouse at the Ontonagon County Historical Society Museum
  2. Take a tour at Adventure Mine in Greenland, where you can walk through a copper mine that operated for more than 70 years
  3. Uncover the mystery of the Paulding Light—ghostly lights that appear in the woods between Paulding and Watersmeet almost every night
  4. Walk through the Ontonagon Lighthouse—built in 1866, it’s one of the oldest remaining lighthouses in Michigan (tours are available through the Ontonagon County Historical Society Museum)
  5. Explore one of the historical cabins at the Old Victoria Restoration—a 1900s-era mining village in Rockland
  6. Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Upper Peninsula at the Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center (U.S. Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 45 in Watersmeet)
  7. Take a photo from the top of the Copper Peak ski jump in Ironwood, which was built in 1969 and overlooks 2,500 square miles of Midwest beauty 
  8. Visit one of the many Keweenaw Heritage Sites throughout Ontonagon, Houghton, and Keweenaw counties
  9. Marvel at the model of the “Ontonagon Boulder”—a famed 3,700-pound mass of copper found in Ontonagon County that’s now in the Smithsonian—at the Ontonagon County Historical Society Museum
  10. Walk the ruins of the Nonesuch Mine site, home to a copper mine in the late 1800s and early 1900s (the site is accessible via South Boundary Road in the southeast corner of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park)
  11. Visit the Victoria Dam (located near the Old Victoria Restoration), which was originally constructed in 1931 and still provides hydroelectric power to the region today
  12. Take a picture of the old Ontonagon County Courthouse on Trap Street in Ontonagon, which was built in 1855
  13. Dig through your own ore pile to collect rocks & minerals at the Caledonia Copper Mine, which dates back to the 1860s
  14. Visit the Ontonagon County Veterans Memorial and the Rockland Museum on U.S. Highway 45 in Rockland
  15. Snap a photo of Haight Township Hall (built in 1912) south of Bruce Crossing on U.S. Highway 45 
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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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