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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.
- Find the original 1857 Fresnel lens from the Ontonagon Lighthouse at the Ontonagon County Historical Society Museum
- Take a tour at Adventure Mine in Greenland, where you can walk through a copper mine that operated for more than 70 years
- Uncover the mystery of the Paulding Light—ghostly lights that appear in the woods between Paulding and Watersmeet almost every night
- 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)
- Explore one of the historical cabins at the Old Victoria Restoration—a 1900s-era mining village in Rockland
- 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)
- 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
- Visit one of the many Keweenaw Heritage Sites throughout Ontonagon, Houghton, and Keweenaw counties
- 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
- 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)
- 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
- Take a picture of the old Ontonagon County Courthouse on Trap Street in Ontonagon, which was built in 1855
- Dig through your own ore pile to collect rocks & minerals at the Caledonia Copper Mine, which dates back to the 1860s
- Visit the Ontonagon County Veterans Memorial and the Rockland Museum on U.S. Highway 45 in Rockland
- Snap a photo of Haight Township Hall (built in 1912) south of Bruce Crossing on U.S. Highway 45
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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