A local's guide to the best things to do and most beautiful places to visit while in Marquette, Michigan
If you have ever been to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, you know that the great outdoors is one of the most magical, best-kept parts of the area, especially if you are traveling near Marquette. Here is a list of my favorite hikes and places to visit in the area, no matter the time of year!
Presque Isle Park: Photo by John Hollinger
1. Presque Isle Park
Presque Isle Park is one of the most beautiful stretches of lakeshore in the Marquette Area. Ranging from sandy beaches to the stunning cliffs of Blackrocks, the park is a beautiful nature refuge. During the summer, you can drive around the park and pull off at one of the many overlooks. There is also a trail for those who would like to walk - it takes about an hour to walk around the whole island.
Presque Isle is also home to our ceramic studio! You'll see Niik Creative Co. off to the left as you enter the park - if you have time, come by and say hi!
Fun fact: Presque means "almost" in French, thus the name for Presque Isle
If you happen to be there around dusk, Sunset Point is on the far side of the island and is a favorite place for both locals and tourists to catch the colors setting over the Huron Mountains in the distance. Presque Isle is closed to pets - so your furry four-legged friends have to stay in the car or at home.
View from Sugarloaf
2. Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf is one of the most popular, easy hikes for those who want a view of the Marquette Area and Lake Superior. Located just a short ways up County Road 550 (stop by the iconic Phil's 550 for ice cream or a beverage on your way), Sugarloaf is a short but gratifying climb to a 360 degree view.
There are two ways up the mountain - an easier route that will take you around the side of the loaf, or a more "advanced" route accessible from the second parking lot that takes you up more directly through a slightly rough trail. To get to the top, there are about five flights of stairs, so be ready to climb! But the view is so worth it, and info plaques along the way offer more insight into the history of the area.
Hogsback Mountain: Photo by Brett Streby
3. Hogsback Mountain
If you're looking for a slightly longer hike that will leave you feeling fulfilled and satisfied, Hogsback is just down the road from Sugarloaf and is a local favorite. I will often climb up on the night of a full moon to watch her rise over Lake Superior!
This trail takes about an hour to get to the top, and is a solid back-country trail. I recommend bringing snacks and water on the adventure, and plan to rest at the top before you climb back down.
The stunning view from the bald on top shows you a long stretch of shoreline, Sugarloaf and Marquette to the east, and the Huron Mountains and Keweenaw Peninsula to the west on a clear day. The parking lot is the first road to the left after Sugarloaf, and then follow the blue trail markers up to the top.
An alternative is to visit Wetmore Pond, which is a short 20 minute hike from the same parking lot. You can see Hogsback from the pond!
Carp River: Photo by Andrew Potter
4. Carp River Trail
The Carp River Trail is one of my favorites to hike in the morning with a dear friend of mine. Also part of the South Trails Noquemanon Trail Network, the path follows the Carp River through a stunning natural terrain. There are thimbleberries, forget-me-nots, and so many other natural treasures along the way.
Stop on the bridge to catch a beautiful bend in the river before hiking up either side of the banks!
Wright Street Falls - Photo by Jennifer Schmidt
5. BLP Loop - Wright St. Falls & Forestville Dam Falls
This hiking loop, just off of Wright St. in north Marquette, is a perfect 45 minute walk along the Dead River in Marquette. Park off of Wright Street, and follow the trail along the river to the left. The furthest point is a stunning little reservoir of the Forestville Dam, and then the trail loops back along the other side of the river, under the pipeline, and back to the road.
There is some iconic graffiti under the pipeline on both sides of the Wright St. Falls - a great place to snag a picture!
This walk is flat and easy, with lots of little water features to see along the way
Nature Hikes in Marquette - A place for inspiration
There are hundreds of trails in the Marquette Area for biking, hiking, and walks. No matter where you go, or what season you are visiting in, you'll be sure to find something meaningful and beautiful. As a last note, please continue to be respectful of our area so we can cherish and appreciate the nature here for years to come.
Let us know what you discover!