Welcome to the North. The North can be described as an area that includes the northern parts of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota in the United States of America. An area very distinct from the East and West coast and definitely a completely different world from the flatlands of the Midwest. Borders are just man-made divisions so including northern Ontario, Canada in the North area seems appropriate.
The North is rugged landscape of magnificient lakes, majestic borreal forests and unspoiled shorelines. A place of friendly people that speak with a northern accent. Clean water and air. Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake by surface area in the world, is the centerpiece and life revolves around this amazing natural resource.
An excellent place to view the North country, forests, mountains and lakes is from Sugarloaf Mountain near Marquette Michigan. It’s about a 15-minute drive from Marquette, Michigan to the parking area. Sugarloaf Mountain is easily confused with Sugar Loaf Mountain Resort which is near Traverse City in the Northern Lower Peninsula. This Sugarloaf Mountain is in the Upper Peninsula on Lake Superior.
There are 2 hiking trails of different difficulty to the top. The quickest is also the most challenging while the other takes a bit longer but covers more gentle terrain. The hike to the top takes about 30 minutes, depending on your physical condition and how fast you walk. The more difficult trail is pretty rocky and can be a bit of a challenge in wet weather.
When you get closer to the top, there are several wooden stairs so you don’t have to be an experienced rock climber to reach the summit. There are three observation decks at the top of the mountain where you can take in all this magnificient northern beauty laying in front of you. There are a few areas where you can get away from the crowds and the beaten path for some different views and photo opportunities. Bring some food for a picnic on a nice sunny day and you’ll have a meal with one of the best views in North America.
These pictures were taken at the beginning of fall on September 27 in 2014 and tree colors were starting to change nicely. The view would have been even better a few weeks from that time but it can be a hit or miss when it comes to weather conditions in fall. The first snow flurries can make their appearance before trees are done changing colors and shedding their leaves. Summer is probably the best time but even then weather can change on short notice. A clear sky is essential for getting the most out of your visit and endless views of the surroundings.
Location: Big Bay Road – County Road 550 between Marquette and Big Bay
Coordinates: 46°36’11″N 87°27’36″W (46.603056, -87.460000)
All pictures copyright Frank Wulfers, please do not use without permission.