Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Point Patterson, Mackinac County (10-29-10) : Point Patterson is located along a stretch of UP shoreline that I rarely, if ever, visit.  In fact, it sits smack in the middle of what may very well be the longest stretch of uninhabited shoreline on the entire lake.  One solitary paved road leads south from US-2 at the tiny crossroads of Gould City about 15-miles to the shore.  At this point there is a tiny park from which point one can wander the empty shore in either direction.  On this hike I'd be heading a couple miles west out to Point Patterson.  There would be no marked trails but with a wide beach to walk I didn't figure it would take any serious navigational skills to find my way.

The only unknown was what toll the huge windstorm of the previous couple days had taken on the shore.  70+ mile per hour winds had raked this area for the previous 48 hours and I expected to find quite a bit of debris.  As it turned out there was very little and the clouds even broke within minutes of stepping out.  It's nice when a plan comes together!!  

Also, in this journal, I'm trying something different.  I have decided to include a series of videos in the album to help share a bit better what it is actually like out on the trail in these unique places.  It's a work in progress and I'm not sure I like it yet, but hope you enjoy the added bonus!

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  4.0 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  45'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  575'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  600'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-Turn south off US-2 onto Gould City Road about 6 miles west of US-2/M-117 junction or 11 miles east of US-2/M-77 junction.
-Follow Gould City Road just under 10 miles to end at Gould City Township Park and trailhead.

Point Patterson, Mackinac County (10-...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

Point Patterson is located along a stretch of UP shoreline that I rare ...

Updated: Nov 01, 2010 8:48am PST

Round Island Point Nature Preserve, Chippewa County (10-8-10) : The color season was going fast, and I mean <i>fast</i>, this year and I was quickly running out of days to go out and enjoy them.  So, between classes I decided to go for a short walk at a preserve I'd visited a couple times before a few miles west of the Soo.  Round Island Point is actually quite a large preserve at over 1,000 acres.  It also boasts almost two miles of Lake Superior shoreline.  Unfortunately, the short 1.5 mile trail that loops through the preserve never gets close to the lake and only introduces one to a small corner of the preserve.  Nonetheless, the path does pass through a nice enough variety of woodland, particularly during the fall season.  For this reason I saved photographing it until now...

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  1.5 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  70'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  620'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  650'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-From Exit 392 off I-75 in Sault Ste. Marie, follow West 3 Mile Road 0.5 mile to H-63 (Mackinac Trail), turn right.
-Follow Mackinac Trail (H-63) south 3 miles to 6 Mile Road, turn right.
-Follow 6 Mile Road west, immediately crossing I-75, for just under 6 miles to Birch Point Loop, turn right.
-Follow Birch Point Loop 0.5 mile to South Winding Court, turn right.
-Follow South Winding Court 0.5 mile to signed parking area and trailhead.

Round Island Point Nature Preserve, C...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The color season was going fast, and I mean fast, this year and I was ...

Updated: Oct 20, 2010 2:26pm PST

Osborn Preserve, Sugar Island, Chippewa County (12-16-09) : The Osborn Preserve is located on the southeastern shore of Sugar Island which is squeezed between mainland Michigan at Sault Ste. Marie and Ontario.  The preserve itself is quite large, encompassing some 3,000 acres, and is managed by the University of Michigan which utilizes it for biological research.  I had long planned to go see for myself what the preserve had to offer and this rather snowy day presented itself as my first good opportunity to go.

Like I said the preserve is at the southeast end of Sugar Island.  Due to recent snowfall I couldn't make it all the way in to the trailhead but rather had to park about a quarter mile or so away.  Without a map (a rather simple and stupid mistake on my part) I really didn't know where I was going to end up but I did have a somewhat vague mental map of the island so I figured I'd be all right.  I was hoping to circumnavigate the island or at the very least reach its northern tip.  As it turned out I got really close, the constant haze of snow kept me from accurately sighting landmarks but, comparing my pics to maps I now now have, I believe I turned back only a few hundred yards short.  Nevertheless, the hike was wonderful.  Any chance I can get out in a woodland coated in a thick, fresh mantle of snow I'll take as it always makes for a magical and memorable experience.  So, I heartily invite you to take a few minutes and join me out in the snow!!

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  5.5 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  22'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  585'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  610'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-From Ferry Terminal on Sugar Island follow 1 1/2 Mile Road for just under 4 miles to Brassar Rd, turn right.
-Follow Brasser Road 4.5 miles to 6 mile Road, bear left.
-Follow 6 Mile Road 0.5 mile to Homestead Road, bear right.
-Follow Homestead Road just under 7 miles to Preserve Road on the left.
-Follow Preserve Road for 1 mile and park at pull-off by Duck Lake sign.

Osborn Preserve, Sugar Island, Chippe...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The Osborn Preserve is located on the southeastern shore of Sugar Isla ...

Updated: Dec 17, 2009 7:05pm PST

Marblehead, Drummond Island, Chippewa County (10-13-09) : Marblehead is located at the easternmost point of the Upper Peninsula on Drummond Island.  It rises only 100' above the waves but commands sweeping views of northern Lake Huron.

My guidebook had the hike starting some 4-miles from the overlook but stated that with a tough, four wheel drive vehicle one could all but drive to the top.  Apparently some do but I stopped a couple miles short as the terrain was just too rough to justify going on.  Besides, why drive to a place like this when you can walk!!

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  4.0 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  48'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  575'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  730'

Marblehead, Drummond Island, Chippewa...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

Marblehead is located at the easternmost point of the Upper Peninsula ...

Updated: Oct 13, 2009 8:42pm PST

Monocle Lake-Mission Hill Trail, Chippewa County (7-14-09) : Monocle Lake sits just inland from Lake Superior about a half hours' drive west of Sault Ste. Marie.  Along its south shore is a nice National Forest campground which serves as the trailhead for the days adventure.  The Monocle Lake Trail heads east from the swimming area at the south end of the lake for little more than a quarter mile where it splits north and south in to the North Country Trail and the Mission Hill Trail respectively.  I'd be heading up Mission Hill first with its commanding views of Lake Superior and the Canadian highlands beyond and then descending to explore the west side of the lake along the NCT.  About 4-miles in all...

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  4.0 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  75'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  640'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  835'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-Take Highway 221 north from M-28 west of Sault Ste. Marie.
-Follow Hwy 221 for 2.5 miles, through Brimley, to Lakeshore Drive.
-Turn left on Lakeshore Drive, follow it 5 miles to Tower Road on the left.
-Follow Tower Road (which changes to dirt as you climb the hill) 1.5 miles to overlook and trailhead on the right.

Monocle Lake-Mission Hill Trail, Chip...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

Monocle Lake sits just inland from Lake Superior about a half hours' d ...

Updated: Jul 30, 2009 7:11pm PST

Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon/Gogebic County (August 2000) : A three day hike I took with my father and brother. It was a pretty hike but hard to appreciate in the swarms of bugs and 90 degree heat. One I'd love to do again in the fall...

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  29.0 miles
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  600'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  1,958'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
<i>From the East (Ontonagon):</i>
-Head east on M-64 from Ontonagon for just over 15 miles to Porcupine Mountains State Park and South Boundary Road, turn left.
-Follow South Boundary Road for 11.5 miles to Summit Peak Road on the right.
-Take Summit Peak Road to parking lot and trailhead.
<i>From the West/South (Wakefield)</i>
-Take M-28 east from its junction with US-2 in Wakefield 1.5 mile to CR-519 on the left.
-Follow CR-519 for 15.5 miles to Porcupine Mountains State Park and South Boundary Road, turn right.
-Follow South Boundary Road just over 12.5 miles to Summit Peak Road on the left.
-Take Summit Peak Road to parking lot and trailhead.

Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon/Gogebi...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

A three day hike I took with my father and brother. It was a pretty hi ...

Updated: May 13, 2009 7:51am PST

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Lakeshore Trail, Alger County (July 27-29, 2004) : A 3 day hike from Munising Falls to Little Beaver Lake in the UP's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The majority of the hike follows the Lakeshore Trail, one of the premier footpaths in Michigan.

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  23.0 miles
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  600'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  850'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-Head east on H-58 from the National Park Visitor Center at the corner of M-28 and go 1.2 miles to Sand Point road on the left.
-Follow Sand Point Road 0.5 miles to Munising Falls Parking Area and trailhead across from Munising Hospital.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - L...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

A 3 day hike from Munising Falls to Little Beaver Lake in the UP's Pic ...

Updated: May 13, 2009 7:36am PST

Trap Hills, Ontonagon County - Cascade Falls & Norwich Bluff (9-22-07) : In my long history of going places no one has ever heard of I now bring you the Trap Hills...They are a seldom visited range in the Western Upper Peninsula not far from the Porcupine Mountains. Up until a year or two ago I had never heard of them myself and I thought what better time to visit than during foliage season.  We packed up the camper and had one of the most fun little vacations I've had in a while.  This is a beautiful, all but unknown area that I wish I had discovered sooner!

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  6.0 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  58'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  990'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  1,597'

<b>Directions to Cascade Falls Trailhead:</b>
-Head north on Norwich Road from M-28 about 6 miles west of Ewen or about 9 miles east of Bergland.
-Follow Norwich Road just over 9 miles to Forest Road 630 on the left.
-Follow Forest Road 630 for 4 miles to Forest Road 400, turn left.
-Follow Forest Road 400 0.3 miles to trailhead access road on the left.
<b>Directions to Norwich Bluff Trailhead:</b>
-Head north on Norwich Road from M-28 about 6 miles west of Ewen or about 9 miles east of Bergland.
-Follow Norwich Road 7.5 miles to trailhead access road on the right beneath the bluff.

Trap Hills, Ontonagon County - Cascad...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

In my long history of going places no one has ever heard of I now brin ...

Updated: Feb 20, 2009 8:36am PST

Little Mountain, Baraga County (9-23-07) : I "discovered" this peak on the back of a restaurant menu in L'anse. We didn't know what to expect but man, were we pleasantly surprised...

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  2.0 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  72'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  935'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  1,150'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-Trail begins at the end of Golf Course Road which heads west off US-41 a bit over 2 miles south of L'anse.

Little Mountain, Baraga County (9-23-07)

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

I "discovered" this peak on the back of a restaurant menu in L'anse. W ...

Updated: Feb 20, 2009 8:33am PST

McCormick Tract Wilderness, Marquette County (11-5-07) : Off my brother and I go to the middle of nowhere, aka. the McCormick Tract. The tract is a 16,000 acre wilderness in the middle of the Huron Mountains in the central UP. We were going to do a bit of hiking and spend the night in the wild outdoors. Our target was a small rocky ridge about 2.5 miles east along the NCT from the trailhead...the unnamed highpoint for Marquette County.  To complicate things the forecast was calling for a good 'ol fashioned UP winter storm...

<b>Mileage Hiked:</b>  5.0 miles
<b>Trailhead Temp:</b>  35'F
<b>Min. Elevation:</b>  1,020'
<b>Max Elevation:</b>  1,932'

<b>Directions to Trailhead:</b>
-Turn north off US-41 onto County Road 607 (Huron Bay/Peshekee Grade) about 1.5 miles west of Van Riper State Park near Champion.
-Head north on CR-607 (Huron Bay/Peshekee Grade) a bit over 9 miles to signed parking area and trailhead at barred bridge across Peshekee River.

McCormick Tract Wilderness, Marquette...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

Off my brother and I go to the middle of nowhere, aka. the McCormick T ...

Updated: Feb 20, 2009 8:26am PST

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