Sugarloaf Mountain: A Short Hike to an Amazing View

Michigan is home to hundreds of great hiking trails to explore – many of which offer spectacular views to enjoy along the way. Today, native “Yooper” Jesse Land takes us on a journey through Sugarloaf Mountain in Marquette, which he thinks rewards hikers with one of the best views in Michigan.

Marquette is full of excellent hikes and beautiful views. One shining example is Sugarloaf Mountain. The trailhead for Sugarloaf is just a few miles from downtown Marquette, the turnoff from county road 550 is well marked, and it’s a relatively quick hike to the top where you’re rewarded with one of the best views in the Upper Peninsula.

The Hike to the Top

On a recent hike, my first time to Sugarloaf Mountain, two friends and I took the “difficult” route and made it up in about fifteen minutes. There’s an optional “easy” route with a tamer grade that takes a little longer, but both paths up the mountain do require a extra care as rocks and roots stick out of the ground along much of the path.

Most people come to Sugarloaf for the view, but the forest canopy that envelops the trails is worth mentioning. With century old trees and ancient rock outcroppings, this trail reminds me of a few of the better hikes I’ve done in the rainforests of Australia. It really is a gorgeous area.

As we approached the top, the dirt trail switched to a series of wooden stairs that brought us up to the viewing area. At the top we were rewarded with a stunning view of Lake Superior, Marquette, Presque Isle Park and Little Presque Isle as well as Hogsback Mountain and the large swath of forest between Marquette and Big Bay.

Photo courtesy of Crag Grabhorn @ Chalet Press

The Stone Monument

Also at the summit is a stone obelisk erected long ago by Boy Scout Troop 1 to commemorate their assistant scoutmaster Bartlett King. King had helped to establish the local troop, which is one of the claimants of first Boy Scout Troop in the U.S. He later fought and died in World War I and his troop members wanted to construct a memorial that his mother could see from her home on Marquette’s arch street.

Three Observation Decks

As we stood there, about 1,000 feet above sea level, I was impressed with how much work has been put into this viewing area. Three viewing platforms situated atop Sugarloaf Mountain offer three slightly different vantage points. The first observation deck faces southward toward Marquette and offers a view of the Superior Dome, the Upper Ore Dock and Presque Isle Park. The second deck faces northward toward Wetmore Landing and Little Presque Isle island. And the third platform faces westward and offers a great view of Hogsback Mountain.

After the Hike

After our hike we opted for a late lunch in downtown Marquette, but deciding where to eat was no easy task as Marquette County is filled with excellent dining options, not to mention being home to four of the thirteen Upper Peninsula Breweries.

Getting There

Sugarloaf Mountain is located about six miles north of downtown Marquette on CR 550. Get there by taking Washington Street to Fourth Avenue. Turn north onto Fourth Ave., which becomes Presque Isle Ave and drive .4 miles to Hawley Street. At Hawley Street, turn west (left). Hawley becomes CR 550. Drive about 4.0 miles on Hawley Street/CR-550 to the parking area. A sign that reads “Sugarloaf Mountain” marks the parking area and is easily visible from CR 550.

Have you been to Sugarloaf Mountain? What did you think?

This blog post was written by Jesse Land on behalf of Travel Marquette Michigan. Marquette County is home to some of the best hiking, biking, motorcycling, beaches, breweries and restaurants in the Upper Peninsula. Learn more about beautiful Marquette County at www.travelmarquettemichigan.com.

Hit the Water in Michigan with These Extreme Sports

Summertime in Michigan means many things, but typically the most popular and memorable activities happen on the water. Between swimming, boating and fishing, there are countless ways to relax while taking in the Great Lakes state.

If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, however, check out these five thrilling sports that can serve as the highlight of the season.

1. Shipwreck Diving

Since Michigan is surrounded by large bodies of water, it is one of the best places to explore shipwrecks. Experience history firsthand by visiting one of the many sites where you can visit ships now resting on the lake floor. Even if you aren’t a diver, there are options for charter tours with glass bottoms perfect for making memories while staying dry.

Explore shipwrecks resting at the bottom of the Great Lakes

Suggested locations: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (Alpena), Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve (Traverse City) and the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve (Port Sanilac).

 2. Kiteboarding

Want to try something new and exhilarating? Look no further than kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing and paragliding, among others, into one extreme sport. This sport is made possible through a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard.

Kiteboarding lets you harness the water and the air in one great sport

Photo Courtesy of Instagrammer @thawanderer88

Suggested locations: St. Clair Shores, Traverse City and East Tawas.

 3. Sea (Lake) Kayaking

A “silent sport,” kayaking speaks to our souls. Explore sea caves, channels and coves or travel pristine rivers, enjoying the serenity of a peaceful paddle or the thrill of riding heart-stopping rapids. Kayaking is also your best chance to experience the spectacular seasonal scenery and abundant wildlife of the water’s edge. Sea kayaking is more rigorous than regular kayaking, so expect a healthy arm workout when heading out onto one of the Great Lakes.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the U.P. is an ideal sea kayaking adventure

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Kotewa

Suggested locations: Port Austin and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Munising).

4. Parasailing

This high-flying experience is the thrill of a lifetime. Take in the sights of your surroundings as a giant parachute sends you soaring hundreds of feet above the water. Through parasailing, you’re able to see many unique Michigan destinations from an aerial perspective while being refreshed by the splashing freshwater below.

See the Mackinac Bridge from above through a parasailing adventure

Photo Courtesy of Mackinaw Parasailing

Suggested locations: Mackinaw City and Harbor Springs.

5. Great Lakes surfing

Surf’s up! Though it is believed that Great Lakes breakers were first surfed nearly a century ago, and possibly much earlier by native peoples, the first significant wave of participants arrived in the 1960s. The west coast surf craze was leaking into Middle America, and small surfing communities sprouted across the Great Lakes. Michigan was at the forefront and today, surfing on the ‘Third Coast’ is more popular than ever. The waves are typically small in the summer, which makes it the perfect time to learn to surf. The big waves and prime surfing time is during the fall, winter and spring.

St. Joseph offers great surfing for both beginners and veterans depending on the season

Photo Courtesy of Josh Nowicki

Suggested locations: New Buffalo and St. Joseph.

Which of these extreme water sports have you tried? Share with us by commenting below!

Celebrate Summer with these 9 Pure Michigan Items

With literally thousands of lakes to kayak, canoe, and fish on (among many other things!), the Great Lakes state has countless ways to enjoy Pure Michigan Lake Effect, making our Michigan one of the best summer destinations. If you love showing off your Pure Michigan pride, check out a few practical summer items from the Pure Michigan Store perfect for yourself or gifting to a friend.

1. Pure Michigan Iceberg Cooler

This cooler has a unique design meant to capture everyone’s attention. Its hard sides are covered with custom Pure Michigan artwork that will remind you of our state’s beauty every time you look at it. Suitable for all of your cold drinks, it is fully insulated and includes an ice pack. Be the envy of your friends with this distinctive and durable cooler.

Perfect for: Camping, picnics, beach or cottage trip

Pure Michigan iceberg cooler

2. Pure Michigan Koozie 3 Pack – Assorted

Speaking of drinks, these koozies will keep you in style while hanging out at the beach. Each koozie in this pack has a different Pure Michigan design so you have a variety of options for showing off your pride!

Perfect for: Cold drinks at the beach, cabin or even at home!

Pure Michigan Koozie 3 Pack Assorted3. Pure Michigan Fruit Fusion Bottle

Stay hydrated this summer with this cool, portable water bottle. The 25-oz. bottle includes an infuser where you can insert strawberries, lemon, cucumber or whatever your heart desires for a flavorful boost to plain water. This makes it even easier to drink more water and keep from being dehydrated while having fun on the beach. As an added bonus, it has a recyclable PET body.

Perfect for: Anywhere!

Pure Michigan Fruit Fusion Bottle

4. Pure Michigan Grilling Spatula

This grilling spatula comes with a cool, unique laser cut design and is made of heavy stainless steel. Even better, at the top of the hard maple handle is a super convenient bottle opener, which would go great with your new koozies and cooler! You’ll be the talk of the party with this interesting piece.

Perfect for: Backwoods camping, beach and park barbecues and grilling at home

Pure Michigan Grilling Spatula

5. Pure Michigan Apron

Grilling wouldn’t be complete without this Pure Michigan apron. The two front pockets make it incredibly easy to store any important items so you don’t have to step away from the grill. Combined with the spatula, you’ll be adding a touch of Pure Michigan to all of your favorite summer dishes.

Perfect for: Outside grilling, indoor baking or just about any time you cook!

Pure Michigan Apron

6. Memories are Made in Flip Flops Wooden Wall Art

Previously, we shared a few Pure Michigan Lake Effect signs and this one remains a favorite. This wall piece, made from pine wood, has been hand painted by local Michigan artist Redeemed and Renewed. At 11×14, this summer wall art will remind you of what’s important: spending the summer with loved ones in Michigan.

Perfect for: Your cabin, cottage, workplace or home

lake sign flip flops

7. 3 Tray Tackle Box

Michigan is one of the best destinations to reel in a fish, no matter the season! The next time you go on a fishing excursion, take this all-weather, worm-proof tackle box to fit your necessities all in one place. There are 37 customizable compartments which makes it easy for different types of fishing trips.

Perfect for: Summer fishing and ice fishing

3 Tray Tackle Box

8. Pure Michigan Bucket Hat

If you are heading out on the water to reel in a big one, you need this bucket hat. Keeping your head protected from the sun has never been more imperative and this khaki hat will do just that. This is especially important for children who might be accompanying on an outdoor adventure.

Perfect for: Any summer outdoor activity, especially fishing

Pure Michigan Bucket Hat

9. Fishin’ Again in Michigan Toddler T-Shirt

Your little one will love this t-shirt. If they regularly join on fishing excursions, this is a perfect clothing item in which to dress them up. Pair with the bucket hat and they are good to go on a Pure Michigan Lake Effect adventure!

Perfect for: Toddlers with an affinity for fishing

Fishing Again in Michigan Toddler Shirt

Now you’re all set for a Pure Michigan summer outing! Check out the store for even more perfect summer items that demonstrate your state pride.

What is your favorite item on the list? Share with us in the comments below!