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.
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.
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,
and stopped at the observation platform to view Lake Superior,
before continuing up to the Observation 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!
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.
where we could see the river flowing into Lake Superior.
Bryce clearly didn’t read the sign!
From the swinging bridge, we followed the trail along the river.
At times, we were walking on boardwalks,
and at other times, we were on gravel paths.
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 first waterfall that we reached was 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.
The trail had overlooks where you could see each of the falls,
and places where you could get right down next to the water.
Always the daredevil – it looks like he’s standing in the water, doesn’t it!!??
Mandido Falls were next,
and a beautiful view 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.
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.
We reached the overlook,
and as promised, the view was spectacular!
We even saw a bald eagle circling over the lake, but it was much too far away for pictures.
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!