Affectionately nicknamed the Porkies, the Porcupine Mountains form a 12-mile long escarpment (steep cliffside) which parallels part of Lake Superior. The mountain range got its name from the native Ojibwe people because the outline of the mountains looked like a kag, a woodland porcupine. The original name of Kag-wadjiw has become the Porcupine Mountains.
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is full of historic sites and natural wonders. It contains trails, waterfalls, wildlife, forests, museums, lodging, and opportunities for winter sports. This is the home of one of the largest and least disturbed northern hemlock-hardwood and virgin white pine forests west of the Adirondacks. With 35,000 acres of uncut forest and over 90 miles of hiking trails, there is a lot of beautiful nature to be discovered. The area is home to a variety of endangered and threatened species, including the grey wolf and the peregrine falcon. In addition to the natural beauty, several copper mines are also located throughout the region. Visitors can tour some of the former mine sites. Tours are also available at the nearby Ontonagon lighthouse which is one of the oldest lighthouses in Michigan and was in use until 1963.