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Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Offers Winter Outdoors Programs

Thu, Jan  19, 2006 - By DNR Press Release

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located near Ontonagon in the western Upper Peninsula, is offering several outdoor programs this winter aimed at getting people outdoors.

"Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a great place to enjoy the beauty of winter on snowshoes and cross-country skis," said Park Interpreter Bob Wild. "What better way to see the park and experience 'Big Snow Country' than by getting outdoors for some fun and the opportunity to learn something new about nature."

The programs are:

Snowshoeing the Union River Area: On Saturday, Jan. 21, people of all ages and experience levels are invited to join this snowshoe hike at 1:30 p.m. EST. Either bring your snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park. The 90-minute hike is of moderate difficulty and takes place in and around the wildlife-rich hills, ridges and ravines of Union River. Meet at the winter Union River cabin parking area (near park headquarters). This program will be offered again on Saturday, Jan. 28.

Deer Yard Snowshoe Hike: On Saturday, Feb. 4, participants will snowshoe through some of the old growth hemlocks and cedars that offer winter habitat for deer. The hike starts at 1:30 p.m. EST at the Whitetail Cabin parking area (just past the ski hill). Either bring your snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park for this 90-minute hike of moderate difficulty through some of the most beautiful areas of the park. Bring your camera. This program will be offered again on Feb. 11, 18 and 25.

Lantern-Light Cross-Country Skiing: Ski the one-mile Superior Loop Trail every Saturday night from now through Feb. 25. The old-fashioned kerosene lanterns will be lit from 6 to 9 p.m. EST. Stop at the warming shelter about halfway around the loop to enjoy a cozy campfire. The park naturalist will be there to answer questions, tell stories and help you listen to the sounds of Lake Superior or of any animals in this wildlife-rich area of the park. This trail is rated "easy;" however, skiing at night always is more challenging.

Project GO-Get Outdoors: On Saturday, Feb. 18, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park will be taking part in the statewide Project GO-Get Outdoors celebration to coincide with Winter Free Fishing Weekend. Visitors will be able to participate in the day's activities without the need to have a state park motor vehicle permit to enter the park.

"We encourage everyone to bundle up and get outdoors to enjoy a snowshoe hike to a deer yarding area or to go cross-country skiing on our lantern-lit trail," Wild said. "Winter is a great time to GO-Get Outdoors."

The Deer Yard Snowshoe Hike begins at 1:30 p.m. EST. Participants can bring their own snowshoes or borrow a pair from the park. Meet at the Whitetail Cabin parking area (just past the ski hill) for this 90-minute hike. The Lantern-Light Cross-Country Skiing takes place on the Superior Loop Trail from 6 to 9 p.m. EST. Stop about halfway around the loop at the warming shelter to enjoy a cozy campfire.

All programs are free; however, a 2006 Motor Vehicle Permit is required to enter the park, except during the special Project GO-Get Outdoors weekend. Daily permits are $6, while annual permits * valid at all Michigan state parks * are $24.

Project GO-Get Outdoors, started in July 2005, celebrates Michigan's outdoor recreational opportunities and the role they play in improving the quality of life for residents and visitors.

All outdoor programs at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park may be canceled by adverse weather or poor trail conditions. Please contact the park at (906) 885-5275 for more information.