Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park is the largest of Michigan's state parks, totally 60,000 areas. This State Park, a well worn chain of mountains rising from the shores of Lake Superior, was named by the Ojibwa people for its resemblance to the porcupine. The Porcupine Mountains was established as a Michigan State Park in 1944 to protect the last extensive tract of old-growth forest remaining the Midwest. The Park is located in the northwest corner of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and sits at the western edge of the Copper Country, but has always played an integral part of the Copper Country. The Park is located 15 miles west of Ontonagon along the shores of Lake Superior.
The 1843 copper boom on the Keweenaw Peninsula began the first great mining rush in United States history, bringing wealth, industry and communities to the tip of Michigan. In April of 1843, General Cunningham was appointed Superintendent of Lake Superior Mineral Lands and by June 1843 he had established Mineral Agency Offices at Copper Harbor and Ontonagon. By 1845, prospectors were searching for copper in the Porcupine Mountains. Not long afterwards, others were harvesting the forests for pine and cedar. The Union Mine Scenic Trail reminds the visitor of another era of mining excitement.
The Porcupine Mountains today are known for their old growth forests, many geologic formations, the rough shoreline of Lake Superior, the many waterfalls throughout the park, and the great scenery, animals, fauna, and superb trails and backcountry opportunities.
Lake of the Clouds is perhaps the signature picture of the Porcupine Mountains and its beauty is easily accessible by all. An overlook allows for a spectacular view. Trails lead down to the Lake and over 90 miles of foot trails allow you visit virgin timber, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers. 16 rustic cabins are strategically placed along the trails for the public. The cabins themselves need to be rented at the Ranger Office either at the junction of South Boundary Road and Highway M-107. Backpackers must register before entering the interior of the park. Trailside camping is permitted throughout the park but not within 1/4 mile of any cabin or Adirondack shelter, scenic road or road. Some backpack campsites with dry tend pads, a campfire ring, and rustic toilets are available. No fires are permitted except where designated by the Park Manager and no fires whatsoever during high fire danger weather. Campers must use a pack stove for cooking.
Please also visit our picture gallery of pictures of the Porcupine Mts.