Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula -
In August of 2016, our family took a trip to the Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula. In 2013, we took a trip to the Eastern parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
My husband loves the Upper Peninsula because of his childhood memories going there with his family. When he said he wanted to go again, I started planning to make sure that there were things to do and see. I'm not the kind of person that would be thrilled traveling 8+ hours to sit in a cabin to do nothing. I researched and found more than enough exciting things to do and see.
I'm a huge fan of using Home Away for our trips and through them, I found a wonderful cabin on a private beach that was central to everything that we wanted to do. The property number is 23069, which you can enter into the Home Away search bar.
We were able to see the most incredible sunrises and countless stars! We heard the water at night, which sounded like the ocean. The cottage was clean, cozy and had everything we could need.
We toured the Quincy mines, saw Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountains, Brockway Mountains, Copper Harbor, many waterfalls, and lighthouses, stopped at the Jam Lady, toured Fort Wilkins, brought our boat and fished some lakes and hiked to the Estivant Pines.
Quincy Mine Tours
This was a unique and memorable experience. We did the full tour which includes a surface tour, cog-rail tram car ride and a ride by tractor-pulled wagon into the mine, seven levels underground.
We were all given hard hats and warm coats to wear if needed. The mines are really cold. The tour starts in the 1918 hoist building. This building is 5 stories high and doesn't have any interior support columns! In this building is the Nordberg Steam Hoist, the world's largest steam-powered hoist engine! We learned many interesting facts about the hoist and building. Our girls, 8 and 9, were just as interested.
It was time to go on the cog-rail tram car ride to get into the mines. As we approached the opening of the mine, everyone felt the blast of cold air flowing out of the mine. The underground tour was full of interesting facts and such a unique experience.
While visiting the Keweenaw Peninsula (or anywhere in the Upper Peninsula), you might want to keep your gas tank as full as possible. Cell service is usually zero and the gas stations are owned by very small mom and pop shops that close pretty early. There is absolutely no radio stations either. None. Which was totally fine with us.
Lake of the Clouds
Lake of the Clouds is located in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. It is named Lake of the Clouds because it is situated in a valley between two ridges of the Porcupine Mountains. There is a beautiful board walk for taking pictures and trails to walk. When visiting this area, Lake of the Clouds is worth the stop.
Yes, we do have mountains in Michigan! We also have the Brockway Mountains, which I'll discuss below. While driving through the Porcupine Mountains there are signs for the waterfalls, sometimes they're easy to miss. Just pull over to the side of the road and be ready to take pictures!
As we drove up the Brockway Mountain drive we did feel our ears popping. It didn't hurt, but the pressure change was noticed by all of us. The drive up was filled with tunnels of trees and winding paved roads. Once we arrived at the top to the scenic outlook, it was breathtakingly gorgeous! The freighter in the lake looked like a bath toy.
The Estivant Pines is the largest tract of old-growth Eastern White Pines preserved in Michigan. It contains hundreds of 300-500-year-old white pines measuring anywhere from 3 to 5 feet in diameter! It was fascinating to read the sign at the beginning of the hike and explain to our girls that some of these trees were here before
Fort Wilkins State Park
Fort Wilkins is a historical state park that is over 700 acres. It's a restored 1844 army military outpost and one of the first lighthouses on Lake Superior built in 1866. We enjoyed visiting all of the facilities and learning about the history of Fort Wilkins. Each building had interesting things to look at and read.
We enjoyed looking at many waterfalls and lighthouses along the way. We spent one afternoon collecting agates along Lake Superior. It was addicting! My husband and I couldn't pull ourselves away! The girls swam in the water, which was shockingly warm.
We brought our boat with us and went fishing a few times. We fished on Lake Superior and the water was like glass that day. At one point we could keep fish off of our lines.
We enjoyed the cottage every moment that we were there. The girls played the piano daily. We all enjoyed the screened in porch to view the sunrise and have breakfast. We look forward to going back one day soon!
Planning a trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula?
For any of our trips, I always research with Trip Advisor. They come through for me all the time! I've found countless top rated restaurants and exciting things to do, whether it's in my own city or thousands of miles from home.
I can't recommend Home Away enough. I will never stay in a hotel if I have an opportunity for a Home Away property. It's so nice to go "home" after a long day of fun to a place that is fully stocked with all of the comforts of home. We have saved so much money in food and the prices of the homes that we've stayed at are either comparable or cheaper than hotels.
If you're planning a trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, I hope that I've helped you out a bit. Enjoy your memory making a trip of a lifetime!
No compensation was received for this trip to Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula. It was our own family paid trip.
FREE: Join Our Travel Newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest travel content by email.