Sometimes the strain and repetition of city living can get a little overwhelming. There’s no better time to get in your car and drive as far north as Michigan borders can take you to spend a little (much needed) time outdoors. We put together a list of our favorite places strictly in the UP for you to check out this summer.
Castle Rock (St. Ignance)
This geological limestone stack is known to be one of the oldest lookout points. The 195 ft high view, also known as Pontiac’s Look out, offers a 20 mile span for you to fully take in.
Arch Rock (Mackinaw City)
Another geological limestone wonder standing at 146 ft (15 stories) over the Lake Huron shoreline, is Arch Rock. The famous arch was created during the Nipissing post-glacial period taking thousands of years to create by wind, water, and glacial manipulation.
Mirror of Heaven/Kitch-iti-kipi (Manistique)
Located within Palms Book State Park, Kitch-iti-kipi or The Big Spring, is approximately 200 ft wide, 40 ft deep, and clear as crystal. The emerald green pool sits above a layer of limestone, ensuring the pool is at a steady 45 degree temperature. In other words- even if Michigan freezes over, the spring won’t.
Glass Bottom Shipwrecks (Munising Bay)
Though you can’t see the shipwreck sites on dry land, the two hour boat tours takes you to two different locations to get a firsthand look at a few sunken ships. They even throw in a few cliffs and caves during the trip out.
Porcupine Mountains (Ontonagon)
The 60,000-acre Wilderness State Park houses a cluster of small mountains in the UP. The mountains, originally given its name for its resemblance to porcupines by the Ojibwa people, has doubled as a popular ski location. In the summer, “The Porkies” offer biking trails and hikes along the North County Trails. No need to be afraid of heights here, the mountain’s highest point *only* reaches up to 695 miles here.
Sugarloaf Mountains (Marquette)
Marquette is home to many hikes and views (including the one above). Luckily for you, to catch a glimpse of this view won’t require you to trek along a lengthy ridge. Being dubbed one of the best views in the UP, the hike up offers options of difficulty for your hike. The “difficult” route takes about 15 minutes where the “easier” option takes a little more time on an effortless slope.
Brockway Mountain (Copper Harbor)
If you aren’t feeling up for a hike- good news is you can still catch a view without leaving the comforts of your car. Dubbed one of the most scenic stretches of road, the 9 ½ mile drive offers breathtaking views of Lake superior at the highest sea-level drive between the Rockies and Alleghenies.
Pictured Rocks National Park (Munising)
This location has it all. 200 ft sandstone cliffs, caves, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, and forests in an area available for you to hike, bike, swim, kayak in. This multicolored rock formations have been carved out by ancient glaciers and are sprinkled with color from natural minerals including iron, copper and manganese.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park (Paradise)
Housing one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi, the Upper Falls is calculated to have a 50 ft drop and at 200 ft wide. The State park has more than 40 miles of hiking trails, a few more waterfalls, and 13 inland lakes. We promise that you’ll most likely find something to do in the 20,000 acre park.
If you’re looking to fill your bellies after a full day of fun, we got you covered. Check out our list of restaurants you should check out while you’re in the UP.
By Victoria Tsai
Social Media Coordinator at JMJ Phillip Group