I’ve always wanted to visit the Porcupine Mountains in northwestern Michigan, and fall is the perfect time to take in the color change in the forest, as well as the dramatic cliffs in the park. Rising to a peak of just under 2,000 feet and lining the southeastern shore of Lake Superior, they provide great views of the most extensive old growth of northern hardwood forest west of the Adirondack forest in New York.
One of the star attractions of the park is Lake of the Clouds, so named for its mirror reflection of the sky. But equally impressive are the sheer cliffs of ancient volcanic rocks that form a long escarpment on the northern side of the park. These are the exposed remnants of the volcanic action that formed the mid-continent rift that runs from western Lake Superior all the way down to Kansas.
On the western edge of the park, the Presque Isle river churns through volcanic deposits scrubbing out holes and undercutting cliffs.
The river is lined with hemlock forest where trees are so close together, barely any light makes it to the forest floor.
Well-marked trails and wonderful scenery make this an exceptional place to visit, especially during the peak of the fall color season.