ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

U.P. There

Updated on February 28, 2012
Shoreline of Lake Superior, Michigan's UP
Shoreline of Lake Superior, Michigan's UP

“So where are you going on vacation?” one co-worker asked me. I replied “The Upper Peninsula of Michigan.” Inevitably, the next question arises, “Well, what’s up there?” We Midwesterners don’t realize what we have in our own backyards. For some reason many of us seem to think we have to travel thousands of miles to find natural beauty when all we have to do is turn around.

Wagner Falls, Wagner Falls Scenic Park, Michigan
Wagner Falls, Wagner Falls Scenic Park, Michigan

Instead of explaining what the UP has, I will describe what it doesn’t have. The UP doesn’t have large amusement parks, nor does it have a congested interstate system that criss crosses the land. There aren’t any vast cityscapes, air or noise pollution (unless of course you consider songbird’s noise pollution). If you’re the type who enjoys all those things I mentioned before that’s great however, I wouldn’t recommend the Upper Peninsula to you.

Wild Lake Superior
Wild Lake Superior

Several descriptive words come to mind when I think of the Upper Peninsula. Unique is the first word that comes to my mind. Unique in that three of the largest fresh water lakes surround this piece of land. These lakes, of course, are Huron, Michigan and the largest, Lake Superior. Unique that this landmass contains mountains to the west (the Porcupines), pristine forests (Hiawatha National Forest), beautiful rocky shorelines that rival any found on the east and west coast (Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore), huge sand dunes (Great Sable Banks), lighthouses (Marquette Harbor Lighthouse), and don’t forget the large shipyards of Sault Ste. Marie.

Lower Tahquemenon Falls, U.P. Michigan
Lower Tahquemenon Falls, U.P. Michigan

Rugged is another word that comes to mind. A ruggedness only found in the Upper Peninsula. Take a hike on one of the many trails found in the Hiawatha National Forest and you’ll discover how rugged the land is. Because of deforestation in the UP’s history, many of the trees found today in the UP are young compared to, say, the Sequoias found in Yosemite National Park. Still, I wonder if what I see around me on these remote trails is what the pioneers discovered all those years ago.

Water. You might ask yourself did she just write water? Yes, you can’t think of the Upper Peninsula without thinking of water. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a perfect example of how water, more specifically Lake Superior, affects the shoreline. Over time water has beaten down the surface of the shoreline creating a smooth surface on the cliffs as well as creating unique (there’s my favorite word) ridges found along the shore. Water isn’t limited to the shoreline, however. Inland there are thousands of manmade and natural ponds and lakes as well as one of my favorite subjects to photograph, waterfalls. There are an estimated two hundred waterfalls found in the Upper Peninsula. All of these falls vary in size from small cascading waterfalls found along side the road (such as Alger Falls found along M-28 just entering the city of Munising) to Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls, the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi, found in the eastern part of the Peninsula. All these waterfalls are distinct and beautiful.

Beautiful. Simple enough. Every aspect of the Upper Peninsula is beautiful. From the mountains to the shoreline, the Upper Peninsula is truly a hidden gem of the Midwest. Crystal blue streams, wild Lake Superior, emerald green forests the UP is one of my favorite destinations. The next time you’re pondering a travel destination that is a little rough, unique and truly away from it all, consider the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. While it might not be considered an exotic destination, it will be a memorable one. Then, the next time someone asks you what’s up there, you can tell him or her exactly what he or she is missing!

Branch and Water, Black River State Park, Michigan
Branch and Water, Black River State Park, Michigan


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • crookedcreekphoto profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      I haven't been to that area yet. I've been to the Pictured Rocks area twice. I was planning on going to visit the Keweenaw Peninsula the next time I went up there. Thanks for the comment and the suggestion. I LOVE THE UP.

    • theframjak profile image


      6 years ago from East Coast

      crookedcreekphoto, thanks for the beautiful tribute to the UP. You should check out the Keweenaw Peninsula if you didn't get a chance to see it on your trip. It's my favorite region of the UP.

    • KaisMom profile image


      6 years ago from Keizer, Oregon

      Hi Crooked Creek: Your photography is awesome. I grew up in Munising though I live in Oregon now. I agree that the U.P. is unique and beautiful. I think being a peninsula with those intimidating bodies of water has kept it geographically apart from everything, like a cherished secret for people like you to appreciate. (If I could only make a living there, that's where I'd be.)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      I've never been to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but your photos look stunning and I love your prose descriptions of it.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

      Welcome to Hub Pages.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)