The Porcupine State Park, with 93 square miles of protected forests, small mountains and a big piece of Lake Superior lake shore is one of the nicest places in the Upper Peninsula (UP). We spent the afternoon and early evening exploring the park and had a delightful day. It was a bit sad to drive through Ontonagon, White Pine, Bruce Crossing and other small towns to see how the area is economically depressed and depopulating. With so much scenic beauty, I am surprised that there are not enough ways to make a living in this part of the UP. However, for those people who do get up there, they have the place to themselves and after living in Japan and spending summers on the east coast of the USA, it is nice to have so much quiet and room to breathe.
After a few bouts of rainstorms on the drive up near Lake Gogebic, the skies cleared as we parked the car just inside the park border for an afternoon swim. The water was clear and relatively warm and the long beach almost empty. We tossed around the football and buried Owen in the sand. It was so nice even Nadia got in. She only does the turquoise, sandy bottom warm water if it is not a pool, so it must have been good conditions.
We followed that with a hike down to the Lake of the Clouds. The mosquitoes were formidable, but it was a pleasing walk down to the lake through some old growth forests. The porcupine mountain state park protects a pretty large forest of old growth trees, especially the hemlock-maple type forest. Absolutely beautiful! I think on our next visit we’ll spend the night and maybe do a Porcupine / Apostle Islands / Duluth – Lake Superior Super Tour!
We finished the day by hitting the buffet at the Lac Vieux Desert Casino on the Ojibwa Indian reservation just north of Watersmeet.