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  • Porcupine Mountains Michigan
  • The Porkies-UP
  • North Country Trail Manistee Forest

Porcupine Mountains / Organic Food Trip, MI

Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2020 -- $1325 ★★


At 4,600 miles, the North Country Trail is by far the longest national scenic trail in the US, dwarfing such popular trails as the Pacific Crest Trail (2650 mi) and the Appalachian Trail (2190 mi). Traversing eight states, from New York to North Dakota, the NCT was declared a federal National Scenic Trail in 1980

Our hike will take us through the western area of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, within Ottawa National Forest and Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan's largest state park and one of the wildest areas in the Midwest. The Porcupine Mountains (aka "The Porkies") enjoy great popularity among hikers, and boast 35,000 acres of old-growth forest, gorgeous rivers and waterfalls, and amazing Lake Superior scenery.

In addition to the majestic natural environment and superior (haha) hiking this trip offers, we will also be providing all or almost all organic food for the entire trip. Our menu will be mostly plant-based, as fresh as possible, minimally processed, and delicious! Our focus will be on delivering flavor and satisfaction as much as on providing healthy, nutritionally balanced meals.

So if you are looking to supercharge your health transformation with a nutritional reboot while enjoying the old-growth forests, picturesque cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking Lake Superior coast of the Porcupine Mountains, then come join us on the North Country Trail, America's longest National Scenic Trail!


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Historical September weather is much drier than even a month earlier and averages in the high-60s / low-70s during the day and 40s/50s at night. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures in the 80s and freezing temperatures at night, with the threat of rain on any day. But overall, expect a warm, dry end of September treat.

Trip Leaders

Dan Shafto
Elisabeth Castleman


$1325 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Minneapolis, MN (MSP) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.

Important Note

This is the first time we're running a trip to the Porcupine Mountains

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fly or drive into Minneapolis St. Paul Airport (MSP)

The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving a few hours earlier or later, then do so.

Take free airport shuttle to local hotel Best Western Plus Bloomington 1901 Killebrew Dr, Bloomington, MN 55425, 952-854-8200

Distribution of trail mix / Make-your-own trail mix

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Trip to REI Bloomington flagship store, 750 W American Blvd (Previously 750 W 79th St), Bloomington, MN 55420, (952) 884-4315 for forgotten or last minute equipment. Closes at 6PM

Go to local restaurant for welcome dinner (Dinner not included in trip cost)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Second set of before body composition measurements taken

Free Hotel Breakfast

Check out of Hotel

Your spare bag(s) will be stored either at the hotel or in a storage unit for safekeeping

Leave hotel early and Shuttle to Copper Peak Rd. Trailhead (at MI 28.75), elevation 1120 ft.

Have lunch while guides shuttle a vehicle to the ending trailhead

Hike 2 downhill miles along Black River to flat area across from Sand Island Creek

Dispersed camp a mile above Great Conglomerate Falls practicing Leave No Trace principles, elevation 960 ft.

Miles today: 2.0 miles. Total to date: 2.0 miles

Possible Bailout: Copper Peak Road

Monday, September 14, 2020

Hike down along Black River for 4.8 mi to Black River Harbor Recreation Area along the shore of Lake Superior, elevation 603 ft.

Hike 3.0 uphill miles, then 1.0 relatively flat mile to Namebinag Creek.

Dispersed camp at Namebinag Creek practicing Leave No Trace principles, elevation 960 ft.

Miles today: 8.8 miles. Total to date: 10.8 miles

Possible Bailout: Black River Harbor Campground

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hike 2.5 mi to the Presque Isle River

Hike 5.0 mi down the Presque Isle River to Manabezno Falls

Hike 2.0 miles to Speaker Creek Cabin

Camp at backcountry sites LS-1 & LS-2 or Speaker Creek Cabin, elevation 610 ft

Miles Today: 9.5. Total to Date: 20.3

Possible Bailout: Southern Boundary Road

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Hike 4.0 mi with sweeping views of Lake Superior

Hike 3.8 mi up along various creeks to site on creek

Camp at backcountry sites LC-6 & LC-7, elevation 1200 ft

Miles Today: 7.8. Total to Date: 28.1

Possible Bailout: Little Carp River Road

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hike 4.0 uphill and rolling miles to the turnoff for Lily Pond

Hike 2.8 miles along Little Carp River Trail to Mirror Lake

Camp at Mirror Lake Cabins or backcountry sites SML-1 & SML-2, elevation 1540 ft

Miles today: 6.8 miles. Total to date: 34.9 miles

Possible bailout: Little Carp River Road

Friday, September 18, 2020

Hike 1.5 mi through hilly terrain along South Mirror Lake Trail

Hike 0.5 mi on Summit Peak connection to Summit Peak

Hike 0.8 mi to Summit Peak Scenic Area

End of Hiking

Miles today: 2.8 miles. Total to date: 37.7 miles

Possible Bailout: Summit Peak Scenic Area

Pick up shuttle vehicle at beginning trailhead

Shuttle back to local hotel Best Western Plus Bloomington 1901 Killebrew Dr, Bloomington, MN 55425, 952-854-8200

Dinner and Awards Ceremony at local restaurant (dinner not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Free breakfast in Hotel

Take Free Airport Shuttle

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