Why Hiking to Marquette’s Black Rocks is Worth It

Whether you pack a picnic lunch in the summer or strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis in the winter, making your way through Marquette’s Presque Isle Park to its iconic Black Rocks is worth the trek.

With more than 323 acres of park land, the park alone offers plenty of opportunities for nature lovers. Many plant species, animals and birds call the large peninsula jutting out into Lake Superior home, including rumored albino white-tailed deer.

Presque Isle means “almost an island” and locals simply refer to it as “the island.” Historically, Frederick Law Olmsted, known for designing New York City’s Central Park, was instrumental in the preservation of Presque Isle as an undisturbed wilderness sanctuary. Two miles of rocky shoreline give way to ancient rocks, more than a billion years old.

In the summer, gather up your courage for some cliff diving off the Black Rocks, which are located at the northern tip of the park. Get lost on the park’s trails and keep your camera at the ready to capture the wildlife who call the park home. End your day by catching a magnificent Michigan sunset over Lake Superior.

Bundle up and make your way to the Black Rocks in the winter to experience nature in full force. The barren trees and craggy rocks feel otherworldly, especially with a strong, cold wind coming off the lake. Again, don’t forget your camera as outlooks along the trail to get to the Black Rocks provide plenty of opportunities for breathtaking photos.

Spring and fall would also be great for exploring “the island” and taking in the Black Rocks. No matter what time of year you visit, make sure to add this destination to your travel itinerary the next time you’re in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

For more hiking tips, listen to A Healthier Michigan Podcast hosted by Chuck Gaidica. In the following episode, he’s joined by Dan Muncey, onsite well-being coordinator at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Paul Yauk, trail coordinator for the State of Michigan to discuss other exciting locales.

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Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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  1. Marquette is my very favorite place on earth! As an NMU grad, cliff jumping there is basically a rite-of-passage!

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