The Porcupine Mountains are the remains of an ancient mountain range, formed over a billion years ago. They rise along the south shore of Lake Superior and remain relatively unspoiled. They are encompassed in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park which is affectionately known to the locals as "The Porkies". The Porkies is a 60,000 acre park, the largest in the state of Michigan. Though copper mining and logging occurred in the 1800s, 35,000 acres of the park have never been cut. Lake Superior borders the park on the northeast, and much of its inland border is made up by the Ottawa National Forest. It is truly a remote wilderness area. The Porkies have over 100 miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of shoreline, 4 inland lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and old growth hemlock forests. The Park features four seasons of recreation including hiking, camping, mountain biking, kayaking, swimming, canoeing, fishing, nordic skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and hunting.
Ontonagon County Historical Society, 422 River Street, . The Museum is easy to spot as it is painted a bright pink and purple colors. The Museum offers lots of information on the area and is the starting point for Lighthouse Tours. Lighthouse Tours are available in summer M-F at 11:00AM, 2PM, and 4PM, and Sa at 11AM and 3PM. Tours are also available by appointment on Sundays and in the off season.
Copper Peak Adventure Ride near Ironwood, MI. This is southwest of the Porkies. Only the brave will climb to the top of the world's largest ski jump.
Porcupine Mountains Folk School,  [dead link]. Located within the park near the Union Bay Campground, this Folk School features workshops year round by local artists and artisians. Recent workshops have included timber framing, black ash basketry, and snowshoe making. The Folk School has a fun and relaxing atmosphere. It is run by the non-profit organization, Friends of the Porkies, whose mission is to enhance the park visitor's experience and in cooperation with Porcupine Mountains State Park. It offers things to do for those not able to get out do 20 mile day hikes and has been popular with local retirees.
A state park motor vehicle permit is required for entry. Fees are $6.00 (daily) or $24.00 (yearly) for residents, and $8.00 and $29.00 respectively for non-residents. These can be purchased at the Visitor Center or online at the Michigan DNR site . The Visitor Center is near the junction of South Boundary Road and Highway M-107. The center is open daily 10AM-6PM from mid-May to mid-October. A stop in there is a must before setting off to explore the park. You will find a ranger to answer questions, maps, multi-media exhibits, the daily calendar for park activities, including interpretive programs and other presentations. This is especially important for those intending to hike or backpack, as the rangers can give you information on trail conditions (in spring and early summer a few sections could get almost impassably wet or muddy) or areas that have been having nuisance bears. During the off season, the Park Headquarters remains open M-F 8AM-5PM. It is located near the Visitor's Center.
Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, . This August festival is in its third year and continues to get rave reviews. The August weather, family friendly atmosphere, kids tent, BYOB policy, and truly diverse assembly of musicians make it a wonderful end of the summer event. See
A variety of lodging options are available within the park. These include a lodge (Kaug Wudjoo), 3 yurts ($60 per night), backcountry tent sites, 16 rustic cabins ($60 per night), 100 modern campsites at the Union Bay Campground (fee is $16/$25 depending on site), and 4 rustic campsites ($14 per night)
All reservations for campsites are made by callilng a central reservations center (+1-800-447-2757)or by going to the Michigan DNR reservations site (http://www.midnrreservations.com/campgrounds/presults.cfm?park_id=57). There you can check availability of cabins or sites and make reservations and pay online. Potential visitors should call the Park first if they have any queries. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable not only about the park, but about the surrounding area, which includes Silver City, White Pine, and Ontonagon. They are happy to answer visitor questions and concerns. The Park number is +1-906 885-5275.
If you are not a camper, there are many other lodging options within 15 miles of the park. There are beach cottages, cabins, hotels, and motels to meet every taste and budget. A good source of information about the area surrounding The Porkies is the Ontonagon County Chamber of Commerce Website. This contains information about many of the places to stay in Silver City, which is just a few miles east of the Park, and the city of Ontonagon which is only 15 miles east.