Michigan Upper Peninsula: Day #3

Our last day in the Upper Peninsula started out with breakfast and checking out of our motel.  We had a big day planned.

First, we visited Presque Isle Park which is located on the northern edge of Marquette, MI, just north of Northern Michigan University (“presque-isle” is from the French meaning almost an island).  This is a lovely park right on Lake Superior.  There’s a 1,216 foot breakwater with a lighthouse at the end.


There is also an iron ore dock exactly like the one in downtown Marquette that is no longer in use. This dock was completed in 1912 by the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railway and is still in use today.


The dock is built of steel-reinforced concrete and is 1,250 feet long.  It is 75 feet tall above the water, 60 feet wide, and has 200 ore pockets with a storage capacity of 50,000 tons.  After the ore is mined, it is crushed and put through a process that results in it being rolled into small balls and fired in a kiln.

These balls are known as taconite pellets which are shipped by rail to this dock next to Presque Isle Park where rail cars dump them into bins within the dock.  Once a freighter is ready to be loaded, chutes from the ore dock bins are lowered into the cargo hatches, and a door at the bottom of the bin is raised. This permits the pellets to roll into the ship.  This would have been interesting to watch, but, unfortunately, we weren’t lucky enough to be there on a day that a ship was being loaded.

Next we followed a road through the park and stopped several times to enjoy the view.


Then we headed a few miles north of Marquette to Sugarloaf Mountain.  My teacher friend who grew up in this area, recommended hiking to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain to enjoy the stunning views.  It took us about 30-40 minutes to hike to the 1,060 ft. summit.  There were 311 stair steps to get to the top (on the “easy” path, of course!), but it was worth it.  Look at these spectacular views!


At the beginning of the hike, and all eager to go.


The trail gets steeper.


First view of Lake Superior.


GORGEOUS views all around us!


Top of the final set of stairs!



In the distance is Presque Isle Park. You can see the two smoke stacks that are close to the iron ore loading dock.


The lake is such a BEAUTIFUL color blue! Can you see that tiny island out there?



These two guys did NOT take the “easy” path that we took. I’m pretty sure they took the “more difficult” path. In this picture is one of the three platforms at the summit.


The main overlook platform.


I’m not sure Zoey enjoyed the beauty as much as we did.


I zoomed in so you could really see the smoke stacks.


Another one of the three platforms.


Ready to hike back DOWN the mountain. This should be easier.


Walking in the forest here is just GORGEOUS!


“Hurry up, Mom! We are almost to the car and I’m tired, hot, and thirsty.” Which one of these two do you think said that? 😆😂

After Sugarloaf Mountain, we returned to Marquette for some lunch.  We had planned to drive up to Copper Harbor.  After putting Copper Harbor in my GPS and seeing how long it would take to drive there, we decided it was too late in the day to do that much driving.  It would put us back at the RV too late at night, so we headed home.

All in all, we had a wonderful time in the Upper Peninsula and can’t wait to go back some day.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”