Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Ontonagon, Michigan

Map of the Porkies


Backpackers must register at the Visitor Center before entering the interior of the park.

Preparation is the key to a successful Porkies visit. Being prepared for whatever occurs will help you enjoy your backpacking experience. Always keep in mind that the park is a natural wilderness to be preserved for future generations of hikers and campers.

In preparing for your visit to the park, make sure that you include: A first aid kit, lip balm, and insect and sun protection. Full length pants, jackets, long sleeve shirts and rain gear. A knife, rope, flashlight, waterproof matches, compass and trail map.

Use tents with which you are familiar. The lake effect can quickly alter the weather and your tent will serve as your only shelter. The tent should be rain-proof, have insect-proof netting, sewn-in floor, water-proof fly, stability in strong winds, and cross-flow ventilation for moisture removal.

Keep your rain cover, fist-aid kit, flashlight, snacks and water bottle where they can be used without disturbing the entire pack.

Self-contained fuel stoves are a must since campfires are not allowed in most of the park. Stoves reduce the amount of wood and brush that would otherwise be cut for fuel, thus preserving the natural forest area. Bring 50% more fuel than you think you'll need since heating dish water and boiling drinking water will deplete a considerable amount of your fuel supply.

Due to the often cool Porkies climate, sudden drops in temperature and the fact that you will spend approximately one-third of your time at the park in your sleeping bag, a warm sleeping bag and a foam pad are essential. Substituting an air mattress for a foam pad is not recommended because it will not retain as much heat. Likewise, the cutting of tree boughs as a substitute for a foam sleeping pad is strictly forbidden by the park.

Spigots at Presque Isle and Union Bay offer safe drinking water from mid-May through mid-October. To obtain a safe water supply from any stream or lake, it must first be boiled for three minutes or filtered through a 1 micron water filter. The purchase and use of water filter kits is highly recommended and each unit will provide an adequate and safe water supply for 5 or 6 people. Water with large organic matter should be pre-filtered through a piece of linen or tightly woven cotton before running through a 1 micron water filter. Throughout this process, collapsible water jugs will prove to be an important item at campsites. It is important to note that water treated only with chemical tablets will not guarantee safe drinking water.

Know your limits. The average backpacker travels about 1 mile per hour. Allow time on the trail for rest and enjoying the Park. Do not allow yourself or other party members to become overly fatigued, especially during hot weather. For safety, always travel with a companion, stay on or close to marked trails, and do NOT travel after dark. Always carry a map, compass, and flashlight.

Some of the Park's black bears have been conditioned to associate people with food. Do not feed the bears. Do not cook in or near your tent. Do not keep food or scented items like toothpaste or cologne in or near your tent. All unattended food, garbage, and gear that may have attractive odors should be hung from a tree or cache pole at least 150 feet from camp.

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness has been damaged by the increasing backpackering activity. Practice strict adherence to minimum impact methods to aid in the preservation of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park natural environment.

Discipline within the Park is a must. Eviction and possible fines will follow unethical behavior.

Being prepared is the key to your trip becoming a pleasant memory, not a camping disaster. Come prepared to listen to the sounds of nature and have a good time in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

For Reservations and Information about
Please Write:
PHONE: (906) 885-5275
Camping and Rustic Cabins | Hiking | Bears

Wilderness Tips | MAP of the Porkies


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