There are few places in the Midwest that offer as many places to backpack as the Upper Peninsula. The Porcupine Mountains, Isle Royale National Park, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are widely known but its the hidden gems that make backpacking so unique “UP” here! Ever been to the McCormick Wilderness Area? How about Grand Island? With thousands of acres of National Forest we can help you discover many hidden treasures!
Marquette Area Backpacking
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four season outdoor opportunities abound. The Lakeshore hugs the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, coldest, and most pristine of all the Great Lakes.
Grand Island National Recreation Area
Grand Island is a place where sandy beaches and sheer cliffs surround the cedar swamps, hemlock stands, and northern hardwood forests that cover the gently rolling terrain of the interior. Bald eagles, black bear, and the common loon are all found here and it’s these things that make this one of our favorite places to backpack.
McCormick Wilderness Area
If you’re looking to get away from it all, the McCormick Wilderness is a place you definitely need to check out. Located in the north-central part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the McCormick Wilderness consists of 16,850 acres, or about 27 square miles of forested land and small scattered lakes. This rugged land has much to offer outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to hike, backpack, fish, hunt, camp, cross-country ski or snowshoe in a remote undisturbed wooded setting. Stop by the shop for more info as access is very limited and a little insider knowledge goes a long ways.
Houghton Area Backpacking
Isle Royale National Park
Located in the northwest corner of Lake Superior, Isle Royale is one of our favorite backpacking destinations. Accessible only via ferry or sea plane, Isle Royale offers the chance to really get away from the commotion of everyday life.Once on the island you can make your trip as easy or as difficult as you like. There are many different options from relaxing out-and-back day hikes to more strenuous tours up and over the very rugged terrain.
If you’re planning a trip to the Island feel free to stop by and pick our brains. Most of our employees have ventured over there, and for some of us it’s one of our mandatory trips each year. We’ve hiked many of the trails, fished all the secret spots, and have stayed at all of the best sites.
Located just minutes from the Isle Royale Ranger dock, stop by our Houghton store for any essential last minute items like maps, fuel, guidebooks, gear, freeze dried food and more!
Porcupine Mountain State Park
Located on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Porcupine Mountains are home to the largest tract of old-growth hardwood forests west of the Adirondacks. The pristine forests of the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness support black bear, deer, timber wolves, river otters and even moose, as well as rare woodland plants that depend on the old-growth forest habitat that abounds here. Summer or winter this park is a lot of fun! Some of our favorite trips include staying in one of the backcountry yurts available in the park. This is a pretty cushy way to camp and is a great option for introducing someone new to the backcountry experience.
Be sure to stop by our store for more information and other great suggestions on places to go!