Michigan-based photographer John McCormick shares some autumn overlook photos.
Brockway Mountain Sunset, Keweenaw Peninsula. Brockway Mountain Scenic Drive offers you one of the best fall vistas in the Keweenaw Peninsula; with amazing views of Lake Superior, inland lakes, and the surrounding wilderness valley. These overlooks are easily reached by utilizing several pull-offs along the 9 mile scenic drive just west of Copper Harbor. It is also a favorite spot to see the northern lights, as seen in the photo below. My wife and I were able to witness this beautiful display when we were camping. When alerted that the lights were going to be visible, we hurried up to the top of the mountain just in time to witness the best display of the northern lights we had ever seen.
Northern lights over Brockway Mountain Drive, west bluff scenic view
Dawn at Lake of the Clouds, Porcupine Mountians Wilderness State Park. Lake of the Clouds is one the most photographed overlooks in Michigan, and for good reason. The views from there are stunning, especially during peak fall colors. Dramatic rock outcroppings, huge stands of old growth northern hardwood forest, and of course Lake of the Clouds that is situated in the Big Carp River Valley below. This overlook is not very far from the parking area and is easily accessed and wheelchair friendly.
Carp River Valley, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State park.
Bare Bluff, The Russell and Miriam Grinnell Memorial Nature Sanctuary, south shore of the Keweenaw Peninsula. In my opinion this is one of the best hikes in Michigan, and one of the most remote. The views from the summit are stunning, you can see all the way to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. It's not easy to get to, nor is it an easy hike; but what a beautiful backcountry wilderness. Backcountry adventures like this require proper planning. Visiting this site is a great start.
Houghton & Hancock Michigan, Panoramic views of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge. This gorgeous overlook is found along the hillside trails above Hancock. We were given permission from the Quincy Mine attraction staff to access these trails, but there may be other locations to reach this area as well. This was our first time visiting this spot so we weren't that familar with the trails.
The Portage Lake Lift Bridge.
Sugarloaf Mountain Sunrise, Marquette, MI. This overlook takes a bit of effort to reach but you are rewarded with amazing views when you get to the peak. The following sites are visible: Partridge Island, Presque Isle Park, Marquette Harbor, and the beautiful Lake Superior coastline. You can also see Little Presque Isle looking to the north. A large part of the hike up has steps, and some benches. It's a moderately difficult climb taking 20 minutes or so to reach the top. The parking area for the hike is located about six miles northwest of Marquette along County Road 550.
Sugarloaf Mountain view looking north towards Little Presque Isle
Grand Portal Point, Pictured Rocks National lakeshore. If your looking for an autumn back-country experience, put this section of The North Country trail on your list. Choose day-hikes along An impressive 42 miles of Lake Superior Shoreline. Some or our favorite hikes here are The Graveyard Coast, The Coves, and The Beaver Basin Wilderness. I've written blogs on these hikes, you can find them here.
North Bar Lake overlook, Pierce Stocking Drive Sleeping Bear Dunes. Fall colors ablaze along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This spot is easily accessed, just a few steps from the pull-off along the scenic drive. The lake below is very close to Lake Michigan and connected by a small outlet. Empire Bluffs can be seen to the south, which is another must see overlook. You will need to purchase a park pass from the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitor Center in Empire before you head there.
November Gales at Empire Bluff Michigan
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