The Remote Peshekee Highlands

Sandwiched between the Yellow Dog Plains and Michigamee, the Peshekee Highlands are a remote, swampy, and rocky wilderness that few roads and fewer signs brave. Some of the western sections are protected within the Ottawa National Forest and the eastern areas house some of my favorite hiking spots including Mulligan Plains and Clark Creek Valley.

View of the Peshekee River

UP Hiking Regrets

Peshekee river, looking upstream

Since the summer of 2008 I've been exploring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It all started with waterfalls, the quest to find and document every waterfall within a hundred mile radius of our old house in Houghton. Once Katie and I moved to Wisconsin the adventures slowly changed, becoming more…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted November 16, 2014
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McCormick Heights of Marquette

Sign for the North Country Trail split

My shoulders cried in relief after I shrugged off my backpack and dumped it into the car. Over the years I've tried to upgrade my gear, aiming for smaller and lighter, yet my pack still feels far too heavy. A new sleeping bag is probably up next, and then maybe a lighter mess kit. Anyways, I was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 21, 2014
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Peshekee Overlook Trail

Snowy sign for the trailhead

After a tough hike up Mt Baldy I was torn about staying in the Peshekee today. On one hand I was in the area, close to the McCormick Wilderness and all those other good spots off the Grade. Yet the snow was deep and nasty. I decided to give it one more chance, one short nearby loop. If that was too…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 2, 2014
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Mt Baldy of Michigamme

Red door on the roadside building

The first time I heard about a Mt Baldy in the Michigamme area was some three years back on a random web site. I was intrigued. The idea of a mountain near the reservoir seemed novel, as most of the hills are rolling and forested, and the chance of getting a good overlook of the town and basin was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 30, 2014
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Wintertime at Rocking Chair Lakes

Distant bluff across a winter swamp

A few years had passed since I was last on Mulligan Plains. After all, as much as I enjoy wandering the wild valley sandwiched between lakes and highlands, there is only so much to see. I've visited Silver Lake Basin four times, the falls on Mulligan Creek three, camped on Rocking Chair Lakes twice,…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted March 20, 2014
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Epic UP Hikes: 2014 (and Beyond!)

Schemes of epic hikes always seem to pile up when winter slowly lumbers along. This month has been especially filled with shiny ideas. Its been a long three months since my last trip to the Upper Peninsula and now, thanks to a busy work schedule and the constant threat of record-setting cold…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted January 26, 2014
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The Acropolis of the Peshekee

Grass and swamp along the outflow of Dortay

My legs were sprawled out on a flat rock, a timid autumn sun slowly seeping into and drying off the wet patches the thick woods had left behind. There was no way to get completely dry - my boots were far too soaked through for that - but I held some hope that the damp clinging to my calves would…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 28, 2013
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The Fortress of White Deer Lake

Bridge to the McCormick Tract

The straps cut deep into my shoulders. I was carrying a very heavy pack, filled with food, warm clothes, and extra supplies, much more than my usual haul. This was no simple in-and-out camping trip. My destination was White Deer Lake of the McCormick Tract and cold temperatures and rain were in the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 22, 2013
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The Search for No Name Falls

Dull light along the two-track

Dull grey seeped into my tent signalling a long-awaited end to a miserable, sleepless night. I scrambled around in the frigid air, pulling on stiff clothes and grabbing prepared gear in a rush to start moving on a long hike. My campsite was less than ideal even though I had took pains to pick the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted October 2, 2012
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Bob and Paul Lakes

Two-track ford on the Yellow Dog near the station

Standing on the shore of the Yellow Dog River I took a deep breath, letting the cool fall air fill my chest. This was a familiar spot, where a remote USGS station measured the river a few miles upstream from Pinnacle Falls. The two-track had taken me from the AAA road to here, the southern edge of…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 6, 2012
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Activity Stream

  • Read What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • Hiked 30.00 miles and felt great.
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