Getting There And Getting Around Michigan

If you don’t want to carry a tent, backcountry cabins are available for nightly rentals in the Porcupine Mountains year-round. Credit: Mary Caperton Morton If you don’t want to carry a tent, backcountry cabins are available for nightly rentals in the Porcupine Mountains year-round. Credit: Mary Caperton Morton

Part of the Upper Peninsula’s appeal is its inaccessibility. The U.P. boasts a few small airports with service from Detroit and Chicago, but they have limited car rentals, so driving up from Michigan’s lower mitt or from Wisconsin or Ontario (across the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge) is probably your best bet. Fortunately for travelers, much of the region’s economy is tourism-based and even the smallest waypoints offer cozy cabins and bed and breakfasts. Campsites are also plentiful throughout the U.P. 

A bridge crossing the Little Carp River in the Porcupine Mountains. Credit: Mary Caperton Morton A bridge crossing the Little Carp River in the Porcupine Mountains. Credit: Mary Caperton Morton

Traveling to the U.P. in the offseason between November and May requires more advanced planning, as many summer residents close their businesses and retreat south for the winter. Storms can develop quickly — the Edmund Fitzgerald left port on smooth waters the day it sank — and dump several meters of snow within a few hours. Come prepared, however, and you’ll be treated to spectacular storms and a crowds-free winter wonderland. 

Mary Caperton Morton

Mary Caperton Morton

Morton (https://theblondecoyote.com/) is a freelance science and travel writer based in Big Sky, Mont., and an EARTH roving correspondent.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 06:00