Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is one of the most popular destinations in the Midwest for group travel.
Known for its rich history, friendly people and unrivaled scenic beauty, the area is blessed with an abundance of natural resources including over 300 waterfalls, 4,300 inland lakes, 12,000 miles of rivers and streams, and over 1,700 miles of shoreline on three of the Great Lakes.
Many of the favorite attractions in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula can be found in the state parks that dot the peninsula from end to end including historic Fayette, a restored iron smelting village on the Garden Peninsula, and historic Fort Wilkins on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
The area is also known for its scenic overlooks like Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains State Wilderness Park and mystical attractions such as the hand-powered raft ride across the Big Springs of Michigan “Kitch-iti-Kipi” in the Palms Book State Park.
Fred Huffman from the Upper Peninsula Travel and Recreation Association shared these tour options:
TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Water Warrior Island in the Van Riper State Park
Water Warrior Island is a floating water park in the Van Riper State Park on Lake Michigamme that challenges participants’ abilities with an obstacle course that features 20 foot-long water slides, rock walls, balance beams and trampolines. Inspired by the popular Ninja Warrior television series, guests are invited to accept the challenge and to run, jump and swim around the course like a true ninja warrior.
VIEW SKY-HIGH SCENIC OVERLOOKS
Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains State Wilderness Park
Nestled high in the 60,000 acres that make up the largest state park in Michigan, the Lake of the Clouds scenic overlook is one of the most popular group tour attractions in the Western Upper Peninsula. The overlook is easily accessible from a paved skyline drive that winds its way up to the top and an ADA accessible trail to the escarpment that overlooks the Lake of the Clouds and surrounding countryside.
SEE OUR THUNDERING WATERS
Bond Falls on the Ontonagon River
Bond Falls is one of the largest and most visited of the 300-plus waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The waterfalls are located on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River and are readily accessible from a circular boardwalk at the base of the falls. Bond Falls is managed by the Porcupine Mountains State Wilderness Park and nearby is the Agate Falls State Roadside Park which is also on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River.
EXPERIENCE A TIMELESS SPRING
The Big Springs of Michigan in the Palms Book State Park
The Big Springs of Michigan, or “Kitch-iti-Kipi” as the natives call it, bubbles up at a rate of more than 10,000 gallons per minute and fascinates visitors with its clear water and peaceful surroundings. Called the Mirror of Heaven by the Native Americans, visitors take a self-propelled observation raft to view the wonders of the Big Springs, which include large trout, strange formations caused by the surging waters and constant eruptions from the depths below.
TAKE A STEP BACK IN TIME
Historic Fort Wilkins in Fort Wilkins State Park
Historic Fort Wilkins is a restored U.S. Army outpost that is located near the northern tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula not far from Brockway Mountain and the village of Copper Harbor. The Fort was built in 1844 and today is one of the oldest-standing wooden forts east of the Mississippi River. The Fort is maintained by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the historical interpretation, which includes a Living History Program, is provided by the Michigan History Center.