Visit the Porkies!
Trip Start Jul 01, 2011
14Trip End Jul 27, 2011
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Where I stayed
Porcupine Mountains State Park - Union Bay Campground
Porcupine Mountains State Park - Presque Isle Campground
We recommend Presque Isle campground for its scenery and lack of biting flies (which were at Plague levels in Union Bay the night before - huge price for access to showers:). There are also backcountry cabins and yurts you can reserve ($60/night) but they go quickly so look into it before you arrive:). The Presque Isle River is breathtaking from stem to stern. It's many waterfalls over rock formations took us back in time (but for the extensive boardwalks and staircases along the river) and erased time altogether
It should be noted that our journey has revealed that the U.P. has a deep history of exploitation of natural resources, for good or for bad. It stimulated much of what infrastructure and civilization exists today, but it also erased the majority of old-growth forests which dominated the region. What exists today is biologically much more diverse yet 'stressed' because many of the forests began from the remnants of clearcut forests. When a million trees all start growing at the same time, things can get cluttered on the forest floor - everyone competing for the same water and sunlight and no one winning. The mining, so far as we could tell, is mostly shaft mining (the Quincy #2 shaft mine in Houghton, MI, went down at a 50 degree angle for 9,250 feet and branched off to over 10 levels equalling over 1000 miles of mineshaft! All in all, we've learned to appreciate the ingenuity and rugged persistance of our Michigan pioneers, and we've also learned to appreciate the old-growth white pine, hemlock, and other trees which were spared the logging glut of the 1800s.