Hiking Trails in the Upper Peninsula

Yooper Creation Story

In da beginnin dere was nuttin.

Den on da first day God created da U.P.

On da seecond day He created da partridge, da deer, da bear, da fish and da ducks.

On da tird day He said “Let there be Yoopers to roam da U.P.”

On da fourth day He created da udder world down below.

On da fifth day He said “Let there be Trolls to live in da world down below.”

On the sixth day He created “DA BRIDGE” so da Trolls would have a way to get to heaven.

God saw it was good and on the seventh day He went huntin’!!!

When people ask me where I'm from I like to tell them I'm a Yooper. I guess it's technically true and I think having spent four winters up there qualifies me to use the title. When I try and explain to them what the UP is I never seem to quite get across what makes it so special. I suppose you just have to go there and see for yourself. I'll always remember my time in the UP. It's the only place I've ever felt truly wild and free.

Mt. Baldy

Awesome day hike with stunning views of Lake Superior at the top of the mountain. The trailhead is near Eagle Harbor. Complete directions and description at the Nature Conservancy page.

Ripley Falls

Not much of a hike, but great falls off of the Mt. Ripley Ski Hill. Hike up the Deer Track Trail until you hit the first big bend and keep heading straight. The falls are only about ten meters off the trail. Take a look at the trail map here if you're not familiar with Mt. Ripley.

Trap Hills

A view from the trail. Norwich Bluff is on the left. The Porkies are to the right off camera.

The Trap Hills are stunning. I would describe the hike I went on, however, I ended up getting lost. However, the views were are spectacular and we didn't see a soul (even driving in). A very cool experience. The trick is to follow the trail on the left side of the parking lot off Victoria Road, not the old logging road.

I've since been back several times and it's some of the best hiking I've ever done. The views are spectacular and so far I've run into two people, having backpacked the area for a combined total of five days. The only negative is that water can be hard to come by so I had to carry quite a bit and at one point had to filter some from a marsh. If you go hiking during hunting season I'd recommend staying in non-motorized areas of the park because the gunshots tend to detract from the experience ;).

Trap Hills (Hunt's UP Guide)

Day Hikes in the Trap Hills I would highly recommend his guide book as well.

North Country Trail

Peter Wolfe Chapter of the NCTA Information on the North Country Trail in the Western UP.

Brockway Mountain Drive

While not a hike, this is such a stunning drive that it deserves a mention. Brockway is a seasonal road so it is not plowed in winter. To get to it drive north to Copper Harbor and turn left at the intersection. The turn off is about a mile out on the left.

Places to Walk the Dog

  • Tech Trails. There's a portion of the trails dedicated to walking dogs. The parking lot is on Pilgrim Road right after the right-hand turn sign.

  • The Mill Road and Nara portion of the cross country trails have nice walks along the Pilgrim River. Apparently, though, the Mill Road section of the trails is closed to walkers during the winter unless you stay on the single tracks which makes snowshoes mandatory. There tend to be quite a few dogs on the Nara trails as it is next to the Humane Society.

  • Along the former railroad grade that runs along the ridge behind Hancock (my personal favorite). Going north on US-41 turn right on the road immediately before the car dealership after passing Quincy Mine. The road will take a sharp left, the trail is over the embankment on the right. Park next to the locomotives and start walking east. There is a seasonal road that tends to be used by snowmobilers but you can follow the grade right next to the cliffs. If you walk far enough you'll hit Mont Ripley. There are some great views of Houghton.