Often people forget that the Mitten State has an upper hand. So no hand-map of Michigan is complete without the Upper Peninsula.  Colloquially known as the U.P., it is not connected to the main landmass or Lower Peninsula of Michigan and is separated by the Straits of Mackinac. The peninsula is a stunning region and well worth exploring, it is thinly populated and the outdoors and natural landscapes here are stunning and heavily forested. In the past, the peninsula boomed with the exploitation of resources, but as the minerals in the peninsula have declined so has its economic fortune. Today its economy is largely dependent on logging and tourism.

  • Fun Fact: The U.P. Has The Only Counties In America With A Plurality Claiming Finnish Ancestry

About The U.P.

The U.P. includes a number of islands, some of them reasonably large including Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc Island, Drummond Island, Round Island, Neebish Island, Sugar Island, and others. The eastern part of the peninsula is typically flat and swampy and an extension of the Great Lakes Plain. The western regions are much more rugged and are an extension of the Canadian Shield. This rugged western part is called the Superior Upland. For those interested in geology, the western rock is some 3.5 billion years old, making it extremely old in geological terms.

Some mountains in the world are young. The Himalayas in Nepal, for example, are relatively young and still rising, that's why they are so rugged and jagged. While others like the Great Dividing Range running the length of Australia are old, worn, and a shadow of their former selves. The mountains found in the U.P. like Mount Arvon, the Porcupine, and the Huron Mountains are in the latter category. They are today the remnants of ancients peaks now worn down. Over many millions of years of successive erosion and glaciers have had their toll.

  • Fun Fact: The U.P. Is 29% Off Michigan's Landmass But Only 3% Of Its Population
  • Tip: Locals Here Colloquially Known As Yoopers

Anyone visiting the Upper Peninsula is likely interested primarily in the great outdoors. The U.P. is poorly suited for agriculture and so much of it remains wild. It is home to a variety of wildlife including, wolves, deer, foxes, bears, bobcats, coyotes, owls, of course, moose.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Michigan Triangle

The U.P. boasts vast waters and wilderness land and is perfect for a summer's vacation. Tourists visiting in the summer should be mindful to bring plenty of bug spray.

When To Go And What To Know Weather-Wise

The best time to go is the summer months or late spring and early autumn. Or of course, winter if it's snowmobiling that one's into (it's one of the great places in America to go snowmobiling). The U.P. belongs to the humid continental climate and the winters are long, cold, lots of snow. In the depth of winter, daylight is only for around 8 hours. If the adventurous traveler wants to explore this stunning peninsula in the winter, then they should be prepared for the lake-effect snow. Lake Superior has a large impact on the climate here and many areas receive more than 100-250 inches of snow annually.

  • Tip: Western U.P. Is A Prominent Park Of The Midwestern Snow Belt
  • Record Snowfall: 390 Inches
  • Caution: When Driving In Winter, Blinding Whiteouts Can Materialise In Minutes

Activities And Things To Do

Some of the activities here include:

  • Hiking: The Upper Peninsula Has Plenty Of Hiking Trails
  • Sailing: It Is Bounded On Three Sides By The Great Lakes
  • Fishing: There Are Plenty Of Rivers And Lakes Here
  • Touring Historic Towns: The U.P. Has Plenty Of Historic Towns To Explore
  • Scuba Diving: There Are Plenty Of Shipwrecks In Lake Superior To Explore
  • Lighthouses: The U.P. Has Around 40 Historic Lighthouses Lining Its Shores
  • Snowmobiling: No Shortage Of Snow

Where To Stay

Of course, there are no storages of places to stay in the Upper Peninsula. Options include Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, resorts, camping, RV camping, and vacation rentals. Examples of accommodation options are:

  • Tahquamenon Hotel: Offer 14 Comfortable Rooms, Ideal Base for Fishing, Hunting ATVing, and Snowmobiling. Pets Are Welcome
  • Tanglewood Trail House: Newly Remodeled Home 10 Miles To The East of Munising. Located On ATV And Snowmobile Trail 8
  • Timber Ridge Motel And Lodge: All Units Are Housekeeping Suits And Have Individual Decks Overlooking Hovey Lake. Located In the Heart of The Hiawatha National Forest
  • Trailside Lodge: Offers 28 Newly Renovated Rooms, Located On ATV And Snowmobile Trail. Offers ATV And Snowmobile Rentals
  • Trails End Resort: Cabins Nestled On The Shore Of Cooks Bay On Big Manistique Lake. Rustic Knotty Pine Interiors, Boat Is Included
  • West Shore Resort On Lake Gogebic: In The West And Has 8 Comfortable 2 Bedroom Cabins. Great For Swimming, Boat Fishing, And Hunting. Close To ATV and Snowmobile Trails. Pets Welcome.

In short, adventures await in the U.P.!

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