Porcupine Mountains

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Recreation Passport Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 59020 (Acres)

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (60,000 acres) is one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest. Towering virgin timber, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers and streams make a visit to the “Porkies” a trip to remember. Black bears are common in the Porkies.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is 15 miles west of Ontonagon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The park’s 60,000 acres are one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest. Towering virgin timber, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers and streams make a visit to the “Porkies” a trip to remember. As Michigan’s largest state park, planning your trip may require the use of various maps. Links to these important maps are provided below.

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park was established in 1945 by Michigan’s Legislature. Since then, many changes have taken place in the way we live; however, the Porcupine Mountains are almost unchanged. The remote interior with its towering pine and hemlock seems to defy time. The solitude of the park is mysterious and exciting. As Michigan’s only state designated wilderness, the Porkies is partnered with Leave No Trace ethics and has developed manuals for specific uses. For wilderness use manuals, please click the links below.
Rustic Cabin Use – Summer
Wilderness Camping – Summer
Leave No Trace Manual

A hiker to the interior of the Porkies must actually turn back the clock and call on skills that were second nature to our ancestors. One must appreciate the ways of a wilderness area to thoroughly enjoy backpacking the Porkies. Remember: the difference between tired feet and the satisfaction of an outstanding view is mostly a condition of the mind.

Lodging:
Kaug Wudjoo Lodge
Yurts
Rustic Cabins

Black bear are frequently encountered in the park. When backcountry camping, bear bags must be suspended at least 12 feet above the ground and far enough from the tree to prevent an animal from reaching or jumping on it. Never feed wild animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, exposes them to predators and other dangers, and causes them to lose their natural fear of humans.

Trails

Porcupine Mts-Beaver Creek Trail
Trail Length: 1.20 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Big Carp River Trail
Trail Length: 9.60 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Cross Trail/Correction Line Trail
Trail Length: 7.30 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Deer Yard Trail
Trail Length: 5.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-Double Trail
Trail Length: 3.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-East and West River Trails
Trail Length: 2.30 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-East and West Vista Trail
Trail Length: 2.50 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-Escarpment Trail
Trail Length: 4.30 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Government Peak Trail
Trail Length: 7.30 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Lake Superior Trail
Trail Length: 17.10 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Lily Pond Trail
Trail Length: 2.50 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Log Camp Trail
Trail Length: 5.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-Lost Lake Trail
Trail Length: 3.40 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Nonesuch Trail
Trail Length: 3.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-North Mirror Lake Trail
Trail Length: 3.80 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Overlook Trail
Trail Length: 2.70 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Pinkerton Trail
Trail Length: 2.60 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-River Trail
Trail Length: 10.50 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-South Mirror Lake Trail
Trail Length: 3.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Summit Peak Tower Trail
Trail Length: 0.50 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Superior Loop
Trail Length: 1.50 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-Triple Trail
Trail Length: 3.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-Union Mine Trail
Trail Length: 1.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Union Spring Trail
Trail Length: 4.00 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking, Mountain Biking

Porcupine Mts-Visitor Center Nature Trail
Trail Length: 1.40 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Porcupine Mts-Whitetail Path
Trail Length: 0.80 (Miles)
Cross Country Skiing, Hiking

Campgrounds

Lost Creek Outpost-Rustic
3 site(s)
Rustic Site, Vault Toilet

Porcupine Mountains Back Country Camping
63 site(s)

Porcupine Mountains Presque Isle-Rustic
50 site(s)
Rustic Site, Vault Toilet

Porcupine Mountains Rustic Cabins
19 site(s)
Cabins & Lodges, Vault Toilet, Walk-in Sites

Porcupine Mountains Union Bay-Modern
100 site(s)
Electrical Service, Modern Restrooms

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Yurts
4 site(s)
Yurt

Porcupine Mountains– Kaug Wudjoo Lodge
1 site(s)

Porcupine Mountains-Group Use Area
2 site(s)
Group Use Area, Vault Toilet

Union River Outpost-Rustic
3 site(s)
Rustic Site, Vault Toilet, Walk-in Sites

White Pine Extension Outpost-Rustic
8 site(s)
Rustic Site, Vault Toilet

 

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Indianhead Mountain

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Indianhead Mountain is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Wakefield Township, Gogebic County. Indianhead Mountain is in an area called “Big Snow Country”, so named because of the annual 200-inch (5.1 m) average snowfall, courtesy of the lake effect from Lake Superior. The area is home to several popular ski resorts such as Big Powderhorn and Blackjack Ski Resort.

History

The roots of Indianhead Mountain Resort tie in closely with the past and current economy of the area. In the late 1950s, Jack English, an amateur pilot from Chicago, over flew Indian Head Mountain. After seeing the abundant snow and area conditions, he developed Indianhead Mountain Resort. This was the impetus for the local ski industry—in the following years, other resorts opened and the area became a skiing hotspot. English is credited with creating the ski industry in the area, and shifting the local economy away from the failing iron mines to one of the most popular ski destinations in the country. An indication of how important skiing has become to the region is Gogebic Community College’s ski area management program, one of the few in the country.

Winter activities

The area offers snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing and other winter activities. The area is best known for downhill alpine skiing. Indianhead itself only offers downhill alpine skiing.

Skiing

Indianhead features runs from very easy greens through double diamond. Over 95% of the hill is groomed, and although there is no official tree skiing, adventurous skiers manage it anyway. There are 10 Beginner Green runs (the largest, Voyagers Highway is in itself the size of many Midwest ski areas), seven More Difficult Blue runs, seven Most difficult Black runs, and four Expert Double Diamond runs primarily because of moguls.

The facilities normally found at the hill base are on top of the hill at Indianhead. This means that all skiing begins at the hill top, so your last lift ride for the day is up and off the hill. There are no accommodations at the base of the hill, but there are numerous trailside condos, hill top condos, and rental cabins in the area.

Indianhead is considered to be a family friendly ski area. Kids under nine ski free with a paid adult.

Amenities include the typical bars, snack areas and restaurant at the top of the hill, and a large restaurant / snack area at the base of the hill. There’s also a ski shop, ski and board rentals, and lockers throughout the lodge.

The mountain is serviced by three double chairlifts, one quad lift, one triple lift, one Poma lift, two T-bar lifts and a towrope. The T-bar lifts are at the base of some Expert runs.

The hill also offers NASTAR racing and has a ski school with private and group lessons. The NASTAR run has permanent course start and end structures for registration, start, timing, etc. on Sundance.

Summer activities

Hiking

The mountain is popular in the Summer months with many hiking clubs and groups. Many clubs consider it a difficult, albeit enjoyable hike.

Golf

The 9 hole golf course opens on May 12.

Wildlife

In May, the slopes become home to herds of Whitetail deer.

Waterfalls

The mountain is near the Black River, which provides access to some of the most well known waterfalls in the Western U.P.

Fall colors

The views from the top of Indianhead Mountain provide some of the best views of the Fall Colors. People travel from all over the world to see the varieties of Maple, Oak and other hardwoods change color. Indianhead Mountain is on one of the many Fall Color Routes.

Location

Indianhead Mountain ski area is located in northwestern Michigan, 200 miles (320 km) northeast of Minneapolis St. Paul via I-35 to US 2, 110 miles (180 km) from Duluth, and 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Wakefield.

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Copper Peak Ski Jump

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There is a nice hiking trail up the mountain to Copper peak.

Copper Peak is a ski flying hill located in Ironwood, Michigan, United States. Built in 1970, it remains the only ski flying facility in the Western Hemisphere. In 1994 a K-point on Copper Peak was at 145 meters (476 ft), allowing jumps up to 158 meters (518 ft). Although there have been no flights at Copper Peak since 1994, there has been some investment in improving the facility to meet the standards of the International Ski Federation (FIS).

Ski flying at Copper Peak involves going much greater distances than normal ski jumping.

History

Between 1970 and 1994 there were ten competitions in the hill. The hill record is 158 meters (518 ft), set by Mathias Wallner and Werner Schuster (both Austria) on January 22, 1994, and January 23, 1994, respectively. The hill was expanded in the 1980s, but the profile is still outdated compared to current standards.

From summer to fall, the public can visit an observation platform 18 stories up the tower of the “highest man-made ski flying hill in the world”. Open on weekends, it presents a view promoted as “the most awesome vista in the Midwest”. Clear days give a northeasterly view of the Porcupine Mountains with the Apostle Islands 35 miles (56 km) to the west. Exceptionally clear days—caused by a Canadian high pressure system moving in—permit a view 85 miles (137 km) across Lake Superior to Isle Royale and Grand Marais, Minnesota.

Year Winner Nationality
1981 Alois Lipburger Austria AUT
Alois Lipburger Austria AUT

Hill Record

Date Name Length
1970 Czechoslovakia Zbyněk Hubač 134 m (440 ft)
1973 Japan Akitsugu Konno 136 m (446 ft)
1973 United States Jerry Martin 137 m (449 ft)
1973 Japan Akitsugu Konno 138 m (453 ft)
1974 United States Tom Dargay 144 m (472 ft)
1974 United States Jerry Martin 144 m (472 ft)
1975 United States Jerry Martin 147 m (482 ft)
1976 East Germany Hans-Georg Aschenbach 154 m (505 ft)
1981-2-13 Austria Alois Lipburger 154 m (505 ft)
1990 Czechoslovakia Stanislav Vasko 156 m (512 ft)
1994-1-22 Austria Mathias Wallner 158 m (518 ft)
1994-1-23 Austria Werner Schuster 158 m (518 ft)

Renovation

In 2012 the hill was under reconstruction. They have completed re-profiling the landing zone angle with filling the soil from 41° to 36°. New K-point will be at 170 meters (560 ft), new HS at 180 meters (590 ft), allowing jumps up to 185 meters (607 ft). They have already finished digging a large 2,830-cubic-meter (100,000 cu ft) collection pond at the bottom of the hill and a 710-cubic-meter (25,000 cu ft) at the top of the hill from which they intend to make snow.

The USA Ski Jumping organization announced that an exhibition ski flying event would take place at Copper Peak, February 28 to March 2, 2014, but this event has been cancelled. Instead, the Copper Peak board announced that Copper Peak will be converted to a ski jumping hill, with competitions beginning in 2015 or 2016. The plan is to hold ski jumping in the summer as well as the winter which would make Copper peak the largest summer ski jumping hill in the world.

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Blackjack Ski Resort

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Blackjack Resort is a ski area located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan near Bessemer, Gogebic County. Blackjack is in an area called “Big Snow Country”, so named because of the annual 200-inch (5.1 m) average snowfall, courtesy of the lake effect from Lake Superior. The area is home to several popular ski resorts such as Big Powderhorn and Indianhead Mountain.

Skiing

Blackjack Mountain has 22 downhill runs across 126 skiable acres. The runs are 20% Beginner, 40% Intermediate and 40% Expert, with one double black diamond expert trail. The area is unusual in that has three terrain parks and two glade trails allowing tree skiing for both adults and children.

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Big Powderhorn

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Big Powderhorn Mountain is a 250-acre (1.0 km2) ski resort located in Gogebic County in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, within Bessemer Township and Ironwood Township (between the cities of Bessemer and Ironwood). The mountain is part of the Gogebic Range with a summit of 1,640 ft (500m) and a base elevation of 1,240 ft (378m), for a 400 ft. vertical drop. It offers 33 trails for Alpine skiing and Snowboarding with an even mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult trail ratings and two terrain parks. Night skiing is currently available on Saturday nights. The Wolverine Nordic Trail also connects to the resort for cross-country skiing.

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Chippewa Ski Trail

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The Chippewa Ski Trail is a trail located in Michigan.

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Cameron Spur Ski Trail

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The mimeron Spur Ski Trail is a trail located in Michigan.

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Tomahawk Ski Trail

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The Tomahawk Ski Trail is a trail located in Michigan.

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Crazy Horse Ski Trail

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The Crazy Horse Ski Trail is a trail located in Michigan.

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