Autumn in the U.P. of Michigan Trip

8 Days in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

This trip spends a week in early October in search of beautiful fall colors in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The trip begins and ends in Milwaukee, but spends most of its time around Marquette and Houghton, Michigan, and the Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining history, waterfalls, and great hikes abound in this wild corner of the country.

Day 1

Milwaukee, and points north

The trip begins at MKE. I explored downtown Milwaukee's riverwalk and paid a visit to the Bronze Fonz before heading out of town, up the Lake Michigan coastline, with a couple of stops before ending the day in Green Bay.

Day 2

Into the U.P.

On this day, I checked out the home of the Packers in Green Bay, before heading north into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I ended the day at my base of operations for the next two nights, in Marquette.

Day 3

The Pictured Rocks

I devoted this day to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a National Park property that's about an hour's drive east of Marquette, Michigan. One day was not enough to see even half of this park, but it was enough to hike a great trail and see some of Pictured Rocks' famous natural formations.

Day 4

Hiking around Marquette, then West

I did some hiking around Marquette's excellent Presque Isle Park, then spent the rest of the day driving west towards the Keweenaw Peninsula. Another great hike at Canyon Falls rounded out the day.

Day 5

The Keweenaw Peninsula

This was the first of two full days on the Keweenaw Peninsula. On this day, I focused on US 41 and parts of M-26, as I explored the northern end of the peninsula.

Day 6

More of the Keweenaw

On this day I took some less-traveled roads to towns like Gay and Bete Gris, and hiked a challenging trail at Bare Bluff. Then I finished the day with more of the sights along M-26 on the way back to Houghton for the night.

Day 7

To the Porcupine Mountains

I left the Keweenaw Peninsula behind, and took some wrong turns, as I headed towards the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Once I found my way, I enjoyed a few nice hikes in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, including the famous Lake of the Clouds Escarpment Trail.

Day 8

A long, rainy drive

Ending the trip was quite a chore. I had to make a long, 300-mile journey back to Milwaukee, and for most of the way, it was raining. But I still managed to see some interesting cities, towns, and farmland along the way before the day ended.