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A view of Lake Superior from Chapel area overlook.

Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Wilderness

The Upper Peninsula is one of my favorite places to escape from the daily grind, explore nature, and generally unwind. On these pages, I share some of my experiences and favorite things.

Favorite Areas

To Camp

  • Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
    • Mirror Lake
    • Presque Isle
    • Union Bay Camp
  • Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
    • Chapel Beach
    • Pine Bluff
    • Little Beaver Lake

  • Other Places
    • Straits State Park
      • modern camp
    • Tahquamenon Falls State Park
      • visit only
    • Mackinac Island State Park
      • visit only
    • Isle Royale
      • bucket list

To Visit

  • Whitefish Point Lighthouse Museum
  • Michigan Technological University - Winter Carnival
  • Seney National Wildlife Refuge
  • Summit Peak, Porcupine Mountains
    • with its viewing tower is over 2,000ft - a mountain

Backcountry Camping Tips

Plan for Everything

  1. Bring extra food
    • One year all we had left when we hiked out were dried blueberries. Good thing we stocked the car with an end of the trail feast!
  2. The weather will not be as planned
    • Bring clothes for ±20°
    • Be sure you can handle long stretches of boredom due to rain trapping you in your tent.
  3. Bug spray and batteries are not to be left in the car.

Keep a Clean Camp

  1. Always keep your food put away
    • Birds and chipmunks will steal your food while you are in camp.
    • Raccoons and bears will destroy your food, your camp, and you if you tempt them.
  2. Always secure everything against rain
    • Storms can come up without warning and a wet camp is a miserable camp. If you leave camp, close the tent windows and doors, turn shoes and boots upside down and keep them under cover.

Wildlife to Watch for:

Moose
The largest member of the deer family, the male has distinctive broad, flat antlers. Generally slow and sedate, they can become aggressive and attack if angered or startled.
Black Bears
Good news and bad news - they are somewhat acclimated to man. You may actually see one. They are also known to raid campsites and can be aggressive. If you do see one, it is best to see it from a distance.
Red Fox
It is also somewhat acclimated to man, or maybe it just doesn't care. Too small to be a real threat, you can keep an eye out for its distinctive splash of red in the fields, without worrying that it'll be the last thing you see.

Wildlife to Avoid

Black Flies
Black flies are small black or grey insects with short legs and antennae. Bites can be extremely painful, and their mouthparts are similar to those of a horse fly. Some species of adult black flies prefer humans whereas others target specific animals or birds.
On people, they crawl into sleeves and around boot tops, especially favoring the head just beneath the rim of a hat. Bites can cause swelling and soreness for many days.
There are records of both domestic animals and people being killed in a few hours through bites and blood loss. Death can result from suffocation as a result of plugged nasal or bronchial tubes and allergic reactions.