10 Reasons to Visit the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon Area

Located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area beckon with a mesmerizing blend of natural wonders, rich history, and boundless adventures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or adventure seeker, here are ten compelling reasons why this enchanting destination deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.


1. The Majestic Porcupine Mountains

Behold the majesty of the Porcupine Mountains, lovingly nicknamed the “Porkies.” With panoramic vistas, some of the oldest virgin forests, and serene lakes, this wilderness wonderland is a haven for hikers, photographers, and nature lovers seeking tranquility amidst breathtaking landscapes.


2. Unparalleled Outdoor Recreation

Calling all adventurers! The Porcupine Mountains offer a plethora of outdoor activities year-round. From hiking, biking, and paddling to snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, there’s an adventure waiting for every season. Explore miles of trails that lead to stunning vistas and hidden gems.


3. Lake of the Clouds

Prepare to be awe-struck by the beauty of Lake of the Clouds. Perched atop a rocky escarpment, this iconic spot provides a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding forests and lakes. It’s a must-see destination that captures the essence of the Porcupine Mountains.


bond falls ontonagon winter

4. Waterfall Wonderland

Embark on a waterfall tour like no other. The region is adorned with picturesque waterfalls, including Bond Falls and Agate Falls. Whether frozen in winter or cascading in summer, these natural wonders showcase the power and beauty of Michigan’s waterways.


adventure mine photos

5. Rich Mining Heritage

History buffs, rejoice! Explore the remnants of Ontonagon County’s mining history. Ghost towns, abandoned mines, and historical sites tell tales of a bygone era when copper and iron ore fueled the region’s growth. Immerse yourself in the stories of those who shaped the landscape.


6. Winter Wonderland Adventures

Winter transforms the Porcupine Mountains into a snowy playground. After the snow sticks, you can ski, snowboard, sled, snowshoe, snowmobile, fat tire bike, or hike. Ontonagon County embraces the chill with open arms and invites you to experience the magic of winter.


young bald eagle taking flight ontonagon county michigan

7. Wildlife Watching Extravaganza

Nature enthusiasts, prepare for a wildlife watching extravaganza. The Porcupine Mountains are home to diverse ecosystems, offering glimpses of deer, foxes, eagles, and even the elusive black bear. Bring your binoculars and camera to capture the beauty of the region’s inhabitants.


ontonagon lighthouse

8. Ontonagon Lighthouse: A Maritime Gem

Step back in time at the Ontonagon Lighthouse. Perched at the entrance of the Ontonagon River, this historic beacon guides you through maritime tales of keepers, sailors, and the rugged beauty of Lake Superior. It’s a must-visit for maritime history enthusiasts.


bond falls stars at night

9. Stargazing and Northern Lights

Gaze into the cosmos at the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park to witness a sky full of stars or even the Northern Lights. Escape the city lights and witness the celestial wonders above. Many of the local parks are extremely dark at night, making Stargazing in this pristine environment an experience that will leave you in awe of the universe. Bond Falls has great skies for enjoying at night!


whitefish ontonagon michigan

10. Local Hospitality and Charm of Ontonagon

Last but certainly not least, immerse yourself in the warm hospitality of the local communities. Explore charming towns, savor local cuisine, and engage with the welcoming residents who embody the spirit of the Upper Peninsula. It’s not just a visit; it’s an opportunity to connect with the heart and soul of the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon Area.


Pack your sense of adventure and embark on a journey to the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon Area. With its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and diverse activities, this destination promises an unforgettable experience for every traveler. Come, discover the magic that awaits in this hidden gem of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

7 Responses

  1. I notice you didn’t mention hunting, a prime reason for me and many people I know.
    Any particular reason?

    1. We could only fit so many things. There are way more than 10 things to enjoy in Ontonagon County. Lots of people rockhound here too.

    1. Every season has its unique beauty. Winter has peaceful snow-covered trees, spring has beautiful foliage and birds, summer has great beach hangouts on Lake Superior, and autumn has stunning fall colors.

  2. Great place . Lots to see and do.
    Ontanogan history museum, the mall in White Pine,The State Park of coarse,that will require at least two days unless u hike then it could be a week.the look out over Lake in the Clouds is spectacular as r the waterfalls on the south end of the park.
    One of Michigans treasures.