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Your guide to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Discover Michigan’s largest state park on the shores of Lake Superior in the beautiful western Upper Peninsula. Here’s what you need to know before visiting the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
What is the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park?
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is Michigan’s largest state park, spanning approximately 60,000 acres in Ontonagon County in the western Upper Peninsula. The park is home to 35,000 acres of old-growth forest—one of the largest remaining areas in the Midwest—and offers outstanding recreation options, incredible vistas, stunning waterfalls, and miles of Lake Superior shoreline.
How do I get to the state park?
The Porcupine Mountains State Park can be accessed via M-64 to the east (M-64 follows Lake Superior west from Ontonagon before hitting M-107 at the park entrance) or via County Road 519 to the west (519 runs north from M-28 in Wakefield before hitting the park’s South Boundary Road).
Note that seasonal roads—including M-107 past the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area and South Boundary Road—are closed from December 1 through late spring every year.
How much is admission to the state park?
Admission to the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park requires a state of Michigan Recreation Passport, which is available to residents and nonresidents alike. For nonresidents, annual passes are $36 and daily passes are $10. Learn more about Michigan’s Recreation Passport here.
What can I do in the state park?
The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offers boundless opportunities for fun and recreation, including:
- Hiking: The park is home to more than 90 miles of hiking trails that will take hikers through some of the western Upper Peninsula’s most scenic spots, through old-growth forests, and along the shores of Lake Superior
- Waterfalls: Several stunning waterfalls can be found in the park, including the trio of falls along the Presque Isle River on the park’s west end
- Scenic overlooks: Follow M-107 into the park to reach the stunning overlook at Lake of the Clouds, one of the most photographed spots in the park. Summit Peak—the highest point in the park—also offers great views.
- Campsites: The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is home to modern and rustic campgrounds, as well as opportunities for backcountry camping
- Nature programs: Park naturalists offer weekly nature programs from Memorial Day through Labor Day
- Porcupine Mountains Music Festival: This fun annual music festival takes place the week before Labor Day and brings together some of the Midwest’s best folk, Americana, country, and blues musicians
- Disc golf: The state park is home to an 18-hole disc golf course, located near the Porcupine Mountains Ski Area
- Visitor center: The Porcupine Mountains Visitor Center is located along South Boundary Road and features an exhibit hall featuring information on native wildlife species, history, and natural communities (open mid-May to mid-October)
- Friends of the Porkies: This all-volunteer nonprofit group promotes and enhances visitors’ experiences at the state park through programs like their Folk School (which offers educational and artistic classes) and an annual artist-in-residence, as well as the annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival.
- Winter recreation:
- The Porcupine Mountains Ski Area, located just inside the entrance to the park, is home to great downhill skiing and snowboarding routes as well as cross-country ski trails (a Recreation Passport is not required to access the ski area)
- South Boundary Road is open to snowmobiling throughout the winter, and snowmobiles can also ride west on M-107 to Lake of the Clouds
Find more information about the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park here.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Visitor Center 33303 Headquarters Rd
Ontonagon, MI 49953 906-885-5275 https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=426&type=SPRK
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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