Friday, January 20, 2012

Travel, Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula

I am going to start a series once a week about lesser-known travel areas and tourist spots for you to adventure and explore.  These locations will be full of hiking trails, photography opportunities and wildlife.  The first place I am going to elaborate on is the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

The Porcupine Mountains or the "Porkies" are located towards the western border of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Inside of Ontanagon and Gogebic counties there is a wondrous and mostly untouched paradise of hardwood forests.  There is an abundance of maples, birch and hemlock trees that create a stunning portfolio of green in the summer months, and a kaleidoscopic scenery of color in the autumn months.

Wildlife:  The aptly named Porkies are home to a variety of animal species, one of which is the, yep you guessed it, porcupine.  In my experience I have seen two porcupines in the wild, both of which were in Montana.  One thing that surprised me when I was reading up on porcupines is that they often are found in trees, now in my mind I had a preconceived notion that porcupines never got off of the ground.  In fact, they are very sophisticated climbers, and have been spotted near the canopies of many of the trees found here in the Porkies.

In addition to the ambitious porcupine, the Porkies are home to animals such as moose, which can be found near swampy areas and near rivers.  Moose are excellent swimmers and have a hunkering for aquatic plants.  They also take little dips in order to keep flies off of them.

This leads me to another point, the Porkies may have an extreme amount of black flies depending on when you visit.  Bug spray is advised.

There are several other animals that can be found in the Porkies.  The following are all found in this area: deer, fox, wolves, coyote, lynx, bobcat, black bear, beaver, and others.

Pictures: Although my words may entice you to visit, it would be nonsensical not to include some beautiful photography of the Porkies.  I love the contrast in the following two pictures that shows the differences from summer to fall. Enjoy:)

Porcupine Mountains 2008_14683
Lake of the Clouds in the Summer
"lake of the Clouds" Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
Lake of the Clouds in the Fall
A River Runs Through It, my New Years Resolution version
A beautiful shot of the Big Carp River


  1. Marc, I love the UP in autumn. And I saw my first porcupine in the wild in the woodlands of the Upper Peninsula. I visited the Porkies a long time ago and took a short, 1/2 mile walk; I believe the bugs chased me away!
    You might want to view my post:

  2. P.S. By the way, your autumn color pictures are out of this world! Makes me want to visit the UP next October....