Explore dramatic beaches, waterfalls and coastline along Lake Superior.
Stunning Lake Superior kisses the shoreline of Marquette, Michigan, one of the Upper Peninsula’s charming and tranquil lakeside towns. The best of Michigan’s natural beauty is on display, with rocky coasts, pristine forests and awe-inspiring waterfalls that will instantly melt away your worries. After a day out in nature, mingle with the local Northern Michigan University college kids in Marquette’s bustling downtown full of local shops, pubs and restaurants.
Paddle and Explore Presque Isle Park
Located on a peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior, Presque Isle Park is Marquette’s star attraction. With a lush forested landscape and a dramatic shoreline, Presque Isle Park offers scenic beauty and outdoor adventures year-round. Bike along Peter White Drive around the island’s perimeter or put on your hiking boots to explore the 3.5-kilometer Presque Isle Park Loop hiking trail. This trail offers the best opportunities to see the famous deer population, not to mention a chance to experience the park’s signature summertime activity: cliff diving at Black Rocks. These 1.7 billion-year-old cliffs at the peninsula’s northern tip soar three meters above the chilly lake water. Count down 3…2…1 – and jump! If you love water activities but prefer to skip the chill, try fishing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding to enjoy endless views of Lake Superior.
Aerial view of Presque Isle Park, located on the shores of Lake Superior
Go Waterfalling at Dead River Falls
A top pick for hiking and scenery, Dead River Falls boasts multiple cascades to view just minutes from downtown Marquette. The first waterfall is accessed fairly easily, but don’t stop there. Gather up your energy to push through the challenging climbs, navigate over rocks and roots, and scramble downhill. You’ll be rewarded with three more series of picturesque waterfalls. If the weather is warm, bring a swimsuit and towel to cool off in the river along the way. Other great falls in the Marquette area include Morgan Falls, Yellow Dog Falls and Pinnacle Falls.
One of the tumbling cascades of Dead River Falls
Views from Above at Sugarloaf Mountain
It’s hard to beat the vistas from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, one of the most popular hikes in Marquette – and for good reason. There are two trails to the top: The easier one goes around the mountain to the peak, while the more difficult trail gives you a chance to scramble over rocks and rootstock to get in some cardio. No matter which way you go, the top of Sugarloaf Mountain has three observation platforms to soak in long-range views of Lake Superior and other landmarks including the Superior Dome, the Upper Ore Dock, Wetmore Landing, Little Presque Isle and Hogsback Mountain. For the ultimate souvenir photo, go at sunset.
Breathtaking vistas from the top of Sugarloaf Mountain
Explore Marquette as part of a road trip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Catch a flight from Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) to Sawyer International Airport (MQT), about 30 minutes south of Marquette. Pick up a rental car so you can explore the region at your leisure.