Fall colors bring out the crowds at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Nothing will change about the trail along Lake Superior, the outlook for Lake of the Clouds, or the forested path to Mirror Lake, but one popular option won’t be available until mid-October after most of the leaves have come tumbling down.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is upgrading the triple chair lift used to ferry guests to the top of the ski hill. When renovations are complete, more passengers will be able to use the service simultaneously. That should help to reduce wait times in the future, and will mean a more reliable winter sports season.
Locally, Mont Ripley plans on having chairlift tours over three separate weekends this fall.
Saturday, September 25 & Sunday, September 26
12 pm – 7 pm
Michigan Tech Family Weekend
Friday, October 1
3 pm – 7 pm
Saturday, October 2 & Sunday, October 3
10 am – 7 pm
Saturday, October 9 & Sunday, October 10
12 pm – 7 pm
The cost is five dollars for adults. All proceeds benefit Mont Ripley Ski Patrol.
The full DNR press release is below.
The popular fall color rides at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon County are closed until at least mid-October.
With the popularity of the rides, which offer a spectacular view of the surrounding autumn countryside and the deep blue waters of Lake Superior, upgrades were necessary to the triple-chair lift to meet current engineering and design specifications.
These upgrades will allow more visitors to ride up and down simultaneously, decreasing wait times. Unfortunately, the work is taking place between now and mid-October – the traditional peak of the fall color season.
The chairlift may not be operated until the work to upgrade the lift is completed, tested and certified. Alternatives to try to accommodate fall color visitors while repairs were being made were explored.
Meanwhile, other scenic areas popular during the fall color season remain open for visitors, including the Lake of the Clouds overlook, the Summit Peak tower and the series of waterfalls along the Presque Isle River, located at the west end of the park.