Black Rocks is located within Presque Isle Park, a local public park just north of the city of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula, along the shores of Lake Superior. Nearby Marquette is the largest city in the Upper Peninsula, with approximately 20,000 residents. Presque Isle Park was established in 1891 after a visit by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (designer of Central Park), whose whole observation and opinion can be summed up in three words: “Don’t touch it.” Presque Isle was originally home to the Ojibwe and other Native American tribes. Today, the park is known for its hiking trails and glorious views of Lake Superior. Although the park is called an “isle," it is actually situated on a large Peninsula. While no camping is allowed in the park, there are several campgrounds nearby. There are also several waterfalls, including Dead River Falls, near Marquette, that are wonderful excursions while you’re in the area.
Black Rocks is a naturally occurring formation of metamorphosed igneous peridotite about 1.7 billion years old. This rock formation is made of rusty orange and red sandstone. It is located on the northern tip of the park; the cliffs offer spectacular views and photographic opportunities. Black Rocks is a popular destination for college students from Northern Michigan University, which is located a short distance from the park. Cliff diving off the 10 to 15 foot cliffs into the frigid waters of Lake Superior is not for the faint of heart. Remember to bring a towel and a change of clothes if you decide to take a leap off the cliffs, though the local fire department recommends staying safely on land due to the rip currents!