Michigan’s Upper Peninsula State Parks Near Lake Superior
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is home to more than 15 state parks, and while they may not be visited as often as their counterparts downstate, they possess a beauty that is hard to match. A handful of these parks also border the mighty waters of Lake Superior, giving visitors the chance to swim, hike, boat, kayak or fish on the greatest of the Great Lakes. These parks each offer something different, whether it is natural landforms, historic attractions, or miles of hiking trails and beaches.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – from thundering waterfalls on the Presque Isle River on its west end to scenic views of Lake Superior and Lake of the Clouds on its east end, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a must-see when visiting the Upper Peninsula. More than 80 miles of hiking trails traverse the park and lead to backcountry cabins, waterfalls, historic mine ruins and more. Multiple campgrounds combine for more than 200 sites, ranging from rustic to modern.
Muskallonge Lake State Park – this incredibly remote park lies between Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake more than 20 miles from the nearest town. The park features more than 150 campsites, multiple beaches, and a short hiking trail. The site of a former lumber mill town and Coast Guard Life Saving Station, Muskallonge Lake State Park may not be among the most-visited parks but keeps visitors coming back thanks to its beauty.
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park – featuring a restored historic fort and a lighthouse at the northernmost point of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Fort Wilkins State Park features a variety of attractions and activities to be enjoyed by all. The fort is staffed with re-enactors during the summer, boat trips depart the local marina for the Copper Harbor Lighthouse ($), and the campground has more than 150 modern sites.
F.J. McLain State Park – for those brave enough to dip into the Lake Superior waters, the beach at McLain State Park shouldn’t be missed. This park lies at the entry to the Keweenaw Waterway and also features a breakwall and lighthouse. There are also nearly 100 campsites and a beautiful, grassy picnic area.
Brimley State Park – a beautiful beach on Lake Superior with views of passing freighters making their way to the Soo Locks makes Brimley State Park a popular summer destination. More than 230 campsites draw visitors looking for great camping away from the city, all while being less than a half hour away from many natural attractions.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park – the Upper Falls on the Tahquamenon River are the second largest in the United States east of the Mississippi (by volume). There are 22 miles of hiking trails, abundant wildlife and the chance to rent a rowboat to visit the Lower Falls and the island they surround. Five campgrounds contain more than 350 sites, with the Rivermouth Unit lying almost right next to Lake Superior.
Baraga State Park – this may not be the largest state park in the Upper Peninsula, but it isn’t short on beauty. With a day-use area on the Keweenaw Bay as well as a campground with more than 100 sites, this park is located next to the modern conveniences and attractions in Baraga and L’Anse yet remains peaceful and somewhat secluded. There’s also a hiking trail, a teepee available for rent, and a playground.