9 Spring Activities Near The Porcupine Mountains

The Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area are a paradise for those looking to relax, enjoy nature, and adventure. Head to the western side of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to find wonderful wilderness that offers a variety of activities for all ages and abilities. From the thrill of rockhounding to the tranquility of sky-gazing, the Porcupine Mountains are beckoning you with promises of a great time. Here are a couple of our favorite activities to try out during spring time as the snow starts to melt.


rockhounding ontonagon michigan


Step into the world of geology and embark on a quest to uncover the hidden gems of the Porcupine Mountains. With its diverse geological formations and rich mineral deposits, this area is a haven for rockhounding enthusiasts. Traverse the rugged terrain, scouring rocky outcrops and riverbeds in search of ancient fossils, colorful agates, and sparkling Yooperlite (Sodalite). Whether you’re a serious collector or a curious beginner, the thrill of discovery is waiting for you in the Porcupine Mountains area. We recommend the beach at the Ontonagon Township Park, found here.


northern lights over lake superior ontonagon michigan


As night falls over the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area, a celestial show occurs in the dark sky. With minimal light pollution and expansive horizons, this pristine wilderness area offers unparalleled opportunities for sky-gazing. Lie back beneath the twinkling canopy of stars, watch shooting stars, or catch the Northern Lights dance across the sky. Whether you’re an amateur astronomer or simply in awe of the cosmos, the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area provide the perfect backdrop for nighttime sky-gazing.


geocache in porcupine mountains ontonagon area


Embark on a high-tech treasure hunt among the beauty of the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area. Geocaching—a GPS-based outdoor activity—invites adventurers to search for hidden caches tucked away in the wilderness. You will be given the coordinates and a sense of adventure, explorers can navigate old-growth forested trails, solve clues, and uncover hidden treasures left behind by other enthusiasts. Whether you’re hunting for trinkets, exploring hidden nooks, or enjoying the thrill of the hunt, geocaching adds an element of excitement and discovery to your outdoor adventures.


gold panning ontonagon michigan

Gold Panning

For those with a pioneer spirit and a taste for adventure, gold hunting in the rivers of the Ontonagon County area offers a chance to connect with nature and uncover hidden treasures. With a gold pan and a sense of determination, prospectors can try their luck along the pristine waterways that meander through the wilderness. The area is known for having copper, silver, and even flakes of gold in certain rivers. Wherever you pan for treasures, you’re guaranteed to have an exciting time. Be sure to check the ownership of the land and river before panning for gold. Gold panning map


duck in ontonagon michigan


Fly into the world of birding amidst the nature of the Porcupine Mountains area. With its diverse habitats and abundant wildlife, this wilderness area is a paradise for birdwatchers of all levels. Grab your binoculars and explore the forested trails, wetlands, and shoreline in search of feathered friends. From songbirds and raptors to waterfowl and migratory species, the Porcupine Mountains offer a variety of birds waiting to be discovered. Click here for a great website to find birding hotspots.


old victoria dam waterfalls ontonagon county michigan porcupine mountains

Watching Waterfalls

Marvel at waterfalls that enhance the landscape of the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area. From towering cascades to gentle streams, these natural wonders offer sights and sounds that relax visitors of all ages. Coming in the spring is the best time to see these waterfalls roaring at their peak flow. Be sure to wear waterproof boots when you hike to waterfalls in the spring. Follow the trails that wind through the forest, listening to the soothing sound of rushing water as you approach each waterfall. You can capture the perfect picture or simply savor the tranquility of the surroundings.


sunset over lake superior michigan

Sunset Chasing

As the day comes to an end, the Porcupine Mountains area comes alive with the vibrant colors of sunset. Find the perfect vantage point along the shores of Lake Superior and watch in awe as the sky changes to hues of orange, pink, and gold. Whether you’re on top of a rocky outcrop, strolling along a sandy beach, or simply soaking in the view from a scenic overlook, sunset chasing in the Porcupine Mountains is a timeless hobby that leaves visitors inspired.


fly fishing by waterfall near porcupine mountains


Experience spring fishing in Ontonagon County, where pristine waters are full of life and it’s likely to land a catch. As the snow melts and nature awakens, anglers flock to the county’s rivers, streams, and lakes, eager to cast their lines into the fresh water. Whether you’re chasing after trophy trout in the Ontonagon River or seeking the quiet lakes brimming with panfish, there’s something for every angler to enjoy. With its breathtaking scenery and unparalleled fishing opportunities. Make sure to take in the beauty of the spring season and reel in memories that will last a lifetime.


spring hiking ontonagon county michigan summit peak porcupine mountains

Explore Old-Growth Forests

Take a hike through the ancient old-growth forests of the Porcupine Mountains. Here you will find Michigan’s largest state park (60,000 acres), the largest virgin hemlock forest in the world, and the most beautiful state park in the nation! Towering hemlocks, majestic white pines, and ancient hardwoods create a cathedral-like atmosphere, where shafts of sunlight filter through the dense canopy, illuminating moss-covered boulders and ferns. Trails wind through lush green tapestry, leading adventurers into the heart of nature. As you wander beneath the giant trees that have stood for centuries, you’ll feel a sense of awe, connecting with the natural world in an unforgettable way. In the Porcupine Mountains and Ontonagon area, the forest beckons you, inviting you to explore and discover the timeless beauty of Michigan’s pristine wilderness.


In the Porcupine Mountains, adventure awaits at every turn. From rockhounding to sky-gazing and the excitement of geocaching, there is something for everyone! Whether you’re exploring hidden treasures, watching celestial wonders, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, the Porcupine Mountains offer an unforgettable experience for all who visit. So pack your sense of adventure and head to the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.