Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Exploring the Porkies!

Porcupine Mountains

We stayed an extra day in Ontonagon so that we could enjoy a nice sunny day in the Porkies.  Just 15 miles from Ontonagon, it was an easy drive down to Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park.

Porcupine Mountains

We stopped in at the Visitor Center to pick up a map and plan our day.  Our first stops would be along the southern boundary road.

Driving through the wilderness park

Summit Peak is the highest point in the park, and provides a beautiful view of Lake Superior.  We took the Summit Peak Trail through the woods,

Summit Peak Trail

and stopped at the observation platform to view Lake Superior,

Enjoying the view from Summit Peak

What do you see out there?










before continuing up to the Observation Tower.

On the way to the Observation Tower

Climbing the Tower


It was a nice clear day, so I guess it was safe to go up on the Tower!




We could see all around the park from up here!

Top of the Tower

Where'd he come from?










From Summit Peak, we continued along the south boundary road until we reached the far western edge of the park, at Presque Isle River.  We found a picnic table in a sunny spot (less mosquitos!), and had our lunch before setting out on the trail along the river.

Before going upriver to see the waterfalls, we walked down to the Swinging Bridge,          Swinging Bridge

where we could see the river flowing into Lake Superior.

Bryce ignored the warning sign

Bryce clearly didn’t read the sign!


Swinging Bridge


From the swinging bridge, we followed the trail along the river.

Presque Isle River

At times, we were walking on boardwalks,


and at other times, we were on gravel paths.

Gravel Trails











Hiking on the North Country Trail

The trail that we were on, the West River Trail, is a section along the North Country Trail which goes from Michigan all the way across the country to North Dakota.

In some areas, it was quite rugged, requiring us to climb on rocks and tree roots.

The trail gets a little more rugged

The first waterfall that we reached was Manabezho Falls,

Manabezho Falls

the largest of the falls on the river.


The water in the river was copper-colored, as much of the lakes and rivers are in this area of Michigan, but we were surprised that the river wasn’t higher.  Considering all the snow they had this past winter, we expected the water to be really high, but there were lots of areas where the rocks were exposed.


It was a beautiful walk along the river.


Manabezho Falls

The trail had overlooks where you could see each of the falls,

Overlooking the Falls

and places where you could get right down next to the water.

Looks like the water is low

He's in the river!


Always the daredevil – it looks like he’s standing in the water, doesn’t it!!??










Mandido Falls were next,

Mandido Falls

and a beautiful view upriver.

Looking upriver

The trail got really rough as we made our way to the top of the last waterfall, Nawadaha Falls, and we couldn’t get a good picture since we were on the top of the falls.

From there, we made our way out to the road, walking back to the first parking lot where we picked up the trail again and spotted a deer in the woods.

A deer on the trail

From Presque Isle River, we could have walked 10 miles along Lake Superior to the other side of the park . . . but we took the car back! 

Our final stop was at the Lake of the Clouds Overlook Area.


We took the short, steep trail directly to the overlook, and I made sure that Tom took note of the warning sign.

Watch out!









We reached the overlook,

Overlook at Lake of the Clouds

and as promised, the view was spectacular!

Lake of the Clouds

We even saw a bald eagle circling over the lake, but it was much too far away for pictures.

White Birch Trees


We enjoyed a beautiful day of hiking in the Porkies, and from there we headed back to to the RV Park to pack up for our 100 mile move on Friday, and roasted hot dogs over the fire for dinner.

It’s starting to feel like summer!


  1. What a wonderful day you had!!! Those views and waterfalls were just spectacular :o))

  2. Great looking area to visit and it looked like the weather was just perfect to be enjoying a family outting.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  3. Hope you get to the "Ship Wreck Museum " at Whitefish point.


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