Do you know why Michigan is referred to as the Great Lakes State? It’s the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes! It also has the most freshwater shoreline and lighthouses of any state. Lake Superior is not only the largest of the Great Lakes, but the largest lake found on earth based on surface area. It’s about the size of Maine! This summer we explored areas along the South shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. To reach the UP from the Lower Peninsula you have to cross the Mackinac Bridge. It spans five miles across the Straights of Mackinac which links Lakes Michigan and Huron. You can also get to the UP by way of WI or CA.
Munising is known for being the gateway to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The color of the water and cliffs are mesmerizing!
The Pictured Rocks cruises travel along the most visually stunning 40 miles of shoreline on the Great Lakes. On one of our previous trips to the UP we took a cruise in the afternoon and our pictures were very colorful. This time we decided to take a sunset cruise for a different perspective of the sun on the cliffs. The day that we pre-purchased our tickets for ending up being somewhat smoky (from the wildfires). And we were a little disappointed at how the smoke blocked the the sunset (although we were thankful it wasn’t worse). But even though the cliffs were not as vivid this time, they were still breathtaking!
The smoky sky made for an absolutely splendid twilight causing an exquisite reflection on the lake!
Pictured below is the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse and Presque Isle Breakwater Lighthouse. It makes for such pretty scenery!
Photo 1 (Below): The abandoned ore dock of the lower harbor of Marquette has been saved as a historic reminder of the past. Photo 2 (Below): A train sits on top of the ore dock in Marquette’s upper harbor, which is still commercially active. After being mined the ore is made into taconite pellets. The pellets come to the dock via railcars and are dumped into bins beneath the tracks. A chute is lowered to the open cargo hatch and a door at the bottom of the bin opens, allowing the pellets to go into the ship.
Tom Lakenen has built more than 100 sculptures from scrap iron for his sculpture park, Lakenenland. It was fun checking them out. You can walk or drive through the park.
We used the village of Ontonagon as a base to hike in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and to chase waterfalls. Above is the Ontonagon Marina. The reddish-brown water is seen along the shore after the Ontonagon River flows into the lake.
We love waterfalls! Here is just a sampling of many we saw in the UP. We hope this article encouraged you to get out and explore, whether it be for a week, a day or an hour! As always, happy camping!