Is Michigan's Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park the Best in the U.S.? Help It Bring Home An Award

Is Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park the Best in the U.S.? Help It Bring Home An Award

Lake of the Clouds Fall Color copy


For years, Michigan residents have been well aware of the beautiful scenery at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Now, the entire country is starting to take notice as the park was recently announced as a finalist for Best State Park in America by and sponsored by USA Today. Voting is open until March 30th, and as of this post PMWSP was in second place trailing only Letchworth State Park in New York.

Manabezho Falls - Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park


There are more than 6,000 state parks in the United States, and a panel of experts helped narrow down the choices for this award to 20 parks. Other finalists include: Antelope Island State Park (Utah), Assateague State Park (Maryland), Blue Spring State Park (Florida), Custer State Park (South Dakota), Devil’s State Park (Wisconsin), Ecola State Park (Oregon), Fall Creek Falls State Park (Tennessee), Grayson Highlands State Park (Virginia), Ha Ha Tonka State Park (Missouri), Hearst San Simeon State Park (California), Hueco Tanks State Park (Texas), Humboldt Redwoods State Parks (California), Hunting Island State Park (South Carolina), Indiana Dunes State Park (Indiana), Stone Mountain State Park (North Carolina), Valley of Fire State Park (Nevada), Watkins Glen State Park (New York) and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (Florida).

lake of the clouds fall color


Only Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and Indiana Dunes State Park represent the Midwest on this list, but there are many reasons for the former to take home the top prize. There are nearly 90 miles of hiking trails in the park, taking visitors to secluded waterfalls, mountaintops with stunning vistas, along the shoreline of Lake Superior and many other places. Wildlife in the park includes black bears, moose, wolves, deer, coyotes, foxes, bald eagles, mink, otters, beavers, bobcats, porcupines and many others.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Black Bear


Top attractions for visitors to the Porcupine Mountains include hiking the waterfall trail on the Presque Isle River, heading up to the Lake of the Clouds overlook for a stunning view, taking in the waters of Lake Superior from the beach, visiting historic copper mining sites or taking on a challenging backcountry hike.

Little Union Gorge Falls


This park also offers 150 rustic/semi-modern campsites, a handful of backcountry cabins, yurts and backcountry campsites. A major draw to the park is the wilderness itself, as the nearest city is at least 20 miles away. Fresh air is plentiful and the views are beautiful in any season. In the winter there is a ski area and several cross country trails.

Porcupine Mountains River

You can help the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park win this Readers Choice Award by voting here. Last month we featured Saugatuck, Michigan and their quest to be named the Best Coastal Small Town on the same site. Voting for that is open until March 16th here. There is one more Michigan location that is up for a award, and we’ll have a post on that later this week.

Check out our previous coverage of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park:

Nawadha Falls

Manido Falls

Manabezho Falls

Overlooked and Greenstone Falls

Michigan State Parks on Lake Superior

10 Great Places To View Wildlife In The Upper Peninsula