Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Fort Wilkins SP, MI
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St Louis, MO

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Posted: 05/03/20 02:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Any words of wisdom about Fort Wilkins SP, MI? If & when this pandemic ends, we'd like to take a trip, hopefully at the end of July/early August. In your opinion would it be worth the drive from St. Louis, MO for a couple of days. Or is there more to see & do than I can find. The reviews I found are OK, but nothing to write home about.
Our thinking is that by August things should open up a bit, and St. Louis is like a steam bath, so we'd head for cooler areas.
Not only is the park worth the trip, but will it be over crowded and full? From there we plan on a leisurely week plus trip home.
Always open for info on parks and eateries. We prefer state, national, COE & some county parks. Tend to avoid private parks that are more like parking lots with hook ups. Gotta have our trees and space.

* This post was edited 05/04/20 10:40am by an administrator/moderator *

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Posted: 05/03/20 04:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ft. Wilkins is not, in itself, worthy of a drive from St. Louis. It is nicely maintained, interesting, but so small that you can see all of it in under 2 hours.

However, there is much more on the Keweenaw Peninsula to see that would make the trip well worth it. There is:

A tour of the Franklin Copper Mine at Hancock
Keweenaw National Historic Park
The Jampot - A monastery that sells the best pastries and jams
Brockway Mountain Drive - scenic
Boat trip to Isle Royale National Park

And McLain SP for camping.

For more info, see:

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Parrothead Mike

SW Michigan

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Posted: 05/03/20 04:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fort Wilkins camping area is nice. There is plenty of grass and trees. The old fort is right next to the campground and an interesting historic display. The area's history is about mining and forestry. Copper Harbor itself is small, but there are places to have a bite to eat.

You might want to drive along the Lake Superior shoreline on M-26 to Eagle Harbor. There is a very good little bakery there run by monks that is worth a stop.

Estivant Pines has some short trails for a hike, but it has some virgin forest areas that are very nice.

Please note that once you get to the Houghton/Hancock area the trip from there to Copper Harbor is a bit slow going due to hilly and winding M-41 with small towns.

If you have time you might want to get down toward Ontonagon where you'll find Porcupine Mountains State Park. There is a state park with electric/showers on the north end of the huge park and a rustic CG at the south end. This park is very large and has many hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenery. One of my favorite places to hike is at the south end of the park near the rustic CG. You can hike both sides of the Presque Isle River from a parking lot closer to the CG or from South Boundary Road (the road that goes around the park away from Lake Superior). There are several falls along that stretch of the river with plenty of overlooks and you can even walk out onto the rocks in places.

There is also a small roadside park just north of M-28 & US-41 intersection called Canyon Falls. It's on the west side of US-41 and you'll miss it if you're not looking. There is a short hike back to the canyon and worth the time.

In regard to Fort Wilkins being crowded, I don't think you'll have too much of a problem. My last trip up there was about 5-6 years ago in mid to late July and the CG was not busy. Porcupine Mts. may be busier.

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June Lake area, California

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Posted: 05/03/20 04:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like the park and the area. Need to update my USA map.

Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


No paticular place.

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Posted: 05/04/20 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful area, well worth the trip...

But lot of drive time for a couple days. It's about 12hrs each way.

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Northern Michigan

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Posted: 05/04/20 09:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Getting there is as much fun as the park itself. Towing a trailer through Houghton Hancock while the highway was under heavy construction was very exciting.

If you have a capable 4wd and know how to use it you can drive most of the way out to the tip of the point. They were improving the road when I was last there, might be street vehicle accessible by now.

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Victoria TX

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Posted: 05/05/20 05:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Announced opening date for MI State Parks is June 22nd if that helps with your plans.

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