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The two RV Gypsies hiked Summit Peak Tower Trail
in the Porcupine Mountains
September 5, 2015

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (60,000 acres) is one of the few remaining large wilderness areas in the Midwest. It has towering virgin timber, secluded lakes, and miles of wild rivers and streams that make a visit to the "Pokies" a trip to remember. Black bears are common in the Pokies, although the two RV Gypsies did not see any.

Areas of attraction within the Pokies include Lake of the Clouds (ADA accessible viewing area), Summit Peak observation tower, and the scenic Presque Isle River corridor which hosts the state's second largest waterfalls.

sign: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

The first 10 minutes of the 1/2 mile trail climbs uphill under a dense hardwood canopy, There were benches along the way. About 200 stairs and some boardwalks take the trail over ancient lava flows and out onto a large viewing deck overlooking the Little Carp River. But the two RV Gypsies did not get a great view on this date.

History bookUntil the late 1950's, Summit Peak, at 1,958 feet above sea level, was thought to be the highest point in Michigan. At that time, the peak had not been formally named and was known as "the peak one-mile south of Mirror Lake". In 1956, the name "State Summit" was suggested but it was soon discovered that two obscure peaks were higher. Hence the name Summit Peak.

Leaving the viewing platform, the two RV Gypsies continued on to the Summit Peak Observation Tower, a worthwhile stop while in the Porcupine Mountains. But that involved about 100 more stairs, plus the path, and the tower climb.

The Summit Peak Observation tower is one of the most popular attractions in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. It gives a view of the park's rugged wilderness - ancient mountains that once were worn by the glaciers but are now blanketed by a thick forest. Lake Superior's vast blue horizon can barely be seen in the far distance.

Below: The two RV Gypsies climbed to the top of the 40-foot observation tower in the hopes of getting an outstanding view of the park as well as surrounding area. Lee went up first, so Karen took photos of him at the top.

Lee Duquette at the top of the observation tower xLee Duquette at the top of the observation tower

Then Karen Duquette joined Lee at the top of the tower, and they took a selfie.

The two RV Gypsies at the top of the observation tower

Then Lee exited the tower and took photos of Karen at the top of the tower.

Karen Duquette at the top of the observation tower Karen Duquette at the top of the observation tower

Before going down the tower, Karen Duquette took a photo of Lee on the boardwalk far below.

Lee Duquette on the boardwalk the boardwalk below the observation tower

From the top of the tower, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Apostle Islands, and Copper Peak are a few of the sights that might be seen on a clear day. The two RV Gypsies really had no way of identifying the areas seen in the panorama and photos they took from the top of the tower.

panorama of the park
view from the tower view from the tower

laughing clip art dudeAt first glance, Lee Duquette thought there was a pair of baby shoes stuck in the tree, so he took some photos, then he realized it was a weird shaped piece of mushroom.

mushroom in a tree mushroom in a tree

Below: An itsy bitsy touch of fall colors.

An itsy bittsy touch of fall colors

Leaving Summit Peak Tower Trail, the two RV Gypsies continued on to Overlooked Falls. Those photos can be seen from the link at the bottom of this page. They would have liked to go to Mirror Lake, but that was 3-1/2 miles each way.

Overlooked Falls sign
look below

back to the Michigan menu button Please return to the Upper Peninsula Michigan menu: Yooperland, Porcupine Mountains, lighthouses, lakes, Ore Docks, hiking trails, waterfalls, Apostle Island Cruise, Pictured Rocks and much more.