Anchored along the Lake Superior Shore  in the northwest corner of the U.P., Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (33303 Headquarters Rd., Ontonagon, 906/885-5275, state park vehicle permit required) covers 59,020 acres, the largest in Michigan’s excellent state park system. The Porcupie Mountains were considered as a national park site in the 1940s, but were quickly preserved as a state park in 1945 when loggers threatened to get to work on their virgin timber before the federal government took action.
Someone once decided that this rumpled landscape of low mountains and tall pines looked like the silhouette of a porcupine. Hmm. But the name stuck, endearingly dubbed “the Porkies.” It is a mecca for casual hikers  and hard-core backpackers alike, home to 90-plus miles of well-marked, well-maintained trails—more than you’ll find in many national parks, and certainly more than you’ll find in most of the Great Lakes region.
And in this case, bigger also means better. The park preserves vast stands of virgin hemlock, pine, and hardwoods—the largest tract of virgin hardwoods between the Rockies and Adirondacks, in fact—secluded lakes, wild rivers, and some of the Midwest’s highest peaks. (Summit Peak tops out at 1,958 feet.) Unlike most state parks, the Porkies are large enough to provide a sense of wilderness and serenity, an escape from the civilized world.
Start your visit at the park’s visitors center at the junction of M-107 and South Boundary Road. Rangers on duty can provide you with maps and suggest trails. A gift shop has topo maps and a good selection of nature guidebooks.
Two roads lead to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located 65 miles northeast of Ironwood .
From Wakefield, County Road 519 leads to the park’s western edge and the Presque Isle  campground. From Bergland, M-64 heads north to Lake Superior, where it meets up with M-107 near the park’s eastern boundary.
The South Boundary Road connects both roads along, yes, the southern end of the park.