Week of October 12-19, 19995
Boundary Waters canoeing permits
Backpacking Michigan's upper peninsula
Q: I will be going on a backpacking trip in August of 1996 to the Porcupine State Park in the upper peninsula of Michigan. I'm interested in buying a good guide to the park, if one exists.
A: With four lakes, 26 miles of Lake Superior shoreline, a rugged range of hills (affectionately nicknamed the Porkies), and more than 90 miles of hiking trails, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness is the crown jewel of Michigan's state parks. We recommend stretching your legs on the 16-mile Lake Superior Trail, which hugs the shoreline, skirts the forest, and offers spectacular views of the big water. Pick up a backcountry permit ($6 per night) and maps at the park entrance and visitor center, 17 miles west of Ontonagon on Route 107. Pitch your tent anywhere in the 63,000-acre wilderness, but be sure to stay at least a quarter-mile from any structures or roads. Or, base yourself at one the park's two modern campgrounds at Union Bay and Presque Isle ($8-$10 per night), and take your pick from dozens of excellent day hikes. You can pick up you copy of The Porcupine Mountains Companion and Porcupine Mountains State Park ($11.95 each) at the visitor center, or call to order these guidebooks by phone before you go (906-885-5612). For more information, contact the park headquarters at 906-885-5275, and be sure to check out "A Tent by the Sea" in the Destinations section of our August 1993 issue.