Although this year's Wild Heart, a women's backpacking trip and yoga retreat at the Porcupine Mountains, was cancelled, we still had the cabin reservation. Laura and I decided to go do a practice trip, to check out the route and practice the food. I went there last year, a couple weeks earlier in September, and had done a similar route but had not stayed at one of the cabins.
I was also excited about the food; I wanted to try out the meals I had planned to see if they could be improved and work on getting the right amounts of each ingredient. You can see a photo of the meal prep in the gallery, I enjoy planning menus. The meals turned out fairly good; I'll be tweaking a few things but overall they were tasty. The best part was the desserts each night. Although chocolate is typically my favorite, I'd have to choose the apple cobbler as the winner this weekend.
For me coming from the Detroit area, Porcupine Mountains is about a ten-hour drive. I listen to a lot of podcasts to stay alert and pass the time, and the view is always great once you get far enough north. For those doing group trips, carpooling might be possible. The drive-in campground we stayed at was completely booked for the night but the site we picked was right on the edge of the water and seemed very secluded. It was a lucky choice.
The hiking itself was fantastic, we did about eight miles on the first and last day, and a ten-mile day hike from the cabin on the second. September and October seems to be fairly wet in that area, and it is humid and muddy, but the cool weather and no bugs far outweigh that. And of course it is a beautiful time of year when the leaves change. I grew up in Michigan but fall never fails to impress me.
The views are simply incredible. Waterfalls, lakes, mushrooms (yes these are incredible), rocky overlooks, and a panoramic summit view that was foggy but still beautiful. Porcupine Mountains is a massive and wild area.
The route we did was fairly rugged, but I think some groups would enjoy it. Staying at the cabin is a real treat; backpacks can be lighter, you're protected from evening rain, and there is a WOOD STOVE. So cozy and warm. I'm really excited to bring small groups here, hopefully next year. It is a great backcountry experience and I can't wait to share it.
If you're interested in joining a trip here in 2021, either Wild Heart or a potential different trip (possibly for both men and women) we do have a waitlist you can add your name to, and please join the mailing list (at the bottom of the page). You can also email me to discuss options. Ideally we will offer a few trips with different difficulty options, all that will be suitable for those that are new to backpacking, but with more or less challenging routes and daily mileage.
This fall and winter, I'll also be working on getting more organized for future backpacking trips at Negwegon State Park. These trips are closer to Detroit (about 3.5 hours), and have more gentle terrain. I also would like to offer some day trips soon; the chilly weather is my favorite for hiking. With the pandemic, everything is up in the air and I'm uncertain about group trips, but we'll see how things progress. Feel free to get in touch if you're interested in some up coming hiking!
Some photos have captions.