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8 Best Things to do in Presque Isle Park Michigan

If you look at Presque Isle Park Michigan on a map, it’s hard to think such a small place can hold so many beautiful gems, but after visiting it on a whim, I’m glad I made the stop there, because it’s a stunning park to check out (and you’ll see why).

In this article, I want to share the many different things you can do in Presque Isle State Park and why I highly recommend you consider checking this place out if you’re exploring the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Because it’s so small, there’s a lot of activities you can fit into a single day there.

Quick info on Presque Isle State Park Michigan:

  • Name: Presque Isle Park.
  • Location: Presque Isle Marquette (it’s a city in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).
  • What is it? A small but very scenic park with many activities to check out.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Recommended? Yes! Though small, this park left an amazing impression on me mainly because of how beautiful it is and how easy it is to do a lot of incredible things here in such a short time. To date not only is this one of my favorite places that I’ve seen in the Upper Peninsula, but it’s also one of the most beautiful shorelines I’ve explored anywhere (the Greak Lakes and even the east and west coast areas too).

The 8 things to do in Presque Isle State Park MI:

  1. Drive around the park (Peter White Drive).
  2. Check out the Presque Isle Lookout.
  3. Check out the stunning Black Rocks beach.
  4. Kayak around Presque Isle State Park.
  5. Check out the cliff diving area at Black Rocks.
  6. Check out the Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater lighthouse.
  7. Do the Presque Isle Pavilion trail and bog walk (2 trails).
  8. Finish the day at Sunset Point.

1) Peter White Drive:

presque isle state park map of places to see

There’s only 1 road in this park as you can see and it’s called Peter White Drive. I don’t have any pictures to share with you of this because when we got here, the sun was already setting to a point where it was too dark there. But this park is well lit in places, and it’s nice to explore it. Either way, we did the full drive around the park, and stopped along the way to see what else it had to offer.

You can also walk and bike on Peter White drive and it makes for a great way to explore the park. I’ve circled a few areas worth seeing along that drive (or walk) for you to see and you can also check out most of the other spots on the list below from this same road too.

2) Presque Isle lookout:

presque isle state park michigan lookout

When my buddy pulled up Presque Isle Park on his GPS, the images he saw were of this place which is officially known as the Presque Isle Lookout and this is actually what attracted us to this park in the first place. While you’re driving on the main road, you’ll see a small parking area for a few cars for this spot.

From there, you’ll take a short walk to the lookout and see giant cliffs to your left (north) and Lake Superior everywhere else. For us, the views there weren’t really that amazing, but it’s also because it was getting pretty dark there. Fortunately, the next thing on this list changed that.

3) Black Rocks beach:

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Out of all the places I’d seen in this park, Black Rocks beach was my favorite by far and luckily because it’s on the western end of the park and the sun was setting in that direction, it lit up the beach enough to get a nice experience there. There are nothing but rocks on the actual beach and the surrounding area is like a beautiful cove with cliffs to enjoy. While exploring this area, I got some awesome Oregon Coast and Washington Coast vibes because in many ways the beauty of Black Rocks Beach matches some of the most beautiful spots I’ve seen in those 2 coastlines (and that applies to the whole park in this case).

4) Kayaking:

presque isle state park michigan kayaking

The same Black Rocks beach I adore in this park so much is also kayak accessible (you can also swim there). And considering the waters are calm enough, being able to kayak around this park and Lake Superior is a must if you’re someone who enjoys such an activity. It’ll give you a different perspective of the park and views that few people will ever really be able to do. I personally wish I had a kayak on me when I went here, because I would instantly take the opportunity to it here.

5) Cliff diving at Black Rocks:

presque isle state park black rocks cliff diving

While standing on the beautiful beach, my buddy and I noticed that about 50 feet away from us, there was a line of people standing by the edge and cliff jumping into the water. This is another awesome activity available at this park. We didn’t walk to the actual cliff because we didn’t want to get in the way, but I suspect the views of Black Rocks beach are also amazing from that point as well. The cliff jump itself is about 20 feet high from what I saw and the water is obviously deep enough to be safe for jumping (watch out though).

6) Presque Isle Lighthouse:

presque isle state park lighthouse

The full name of this place is called Presque Isle Harbor Breakwater lighthouse and I have to be honest, while I saw it from when we were driving into the park, I had no idea there was a path that actually takes you there. This lighthouse is east of the park and there is a rocky path available to it. You can basically do a “hike” to the lighthouse when the weather permits and get a great workout out of it.

At the same time, being around this spot during sunset is its own reward and that actually happens to be one of the other things I recommend you stick around for in the park. In the future I’ll be a post about the best lighthouses to see in the Upper Peninsula and when I do, I’ll be adding this to the list. In the meantime, if you are into lighthouses, I recommend 2 articles on this:

7) Hiking:

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There are 2 main hikes in Presque Isle Park and they are:

  1. Presque Isle Pavilion Trail.
  2. The Bog Walk.

Each hike is only about 1 mile long, but the views you’ll get there are pretty amazing! The bog walk is more sea level stuff, while the Pavilion trail has you seeing the cliff views of this park (and the surrounding areas too). There is also the option to just walk around the park through the scenic drive too.

8) Sunset Point:

presque isle state park sunset point

This is where my buddy and I finished our short trip to Presque Isle State Park. This area, out of all the others had the most cars packed and for good reason. It’s a famous area for checking out the sunsets and considering this area is on the west side of the park, you’ll get some truly amazing views of the sunsets there.

For us, we were fortunate to find parking and enjoy an amazing view of the setting sun over the mountains beyond the giant lake. I imagine every single day in this spot is an amazing sight to behold, but either way, finishing your day trip at this area is a great way to conclude it.

Also know that sometimes you can see the northern lights in this area too! I personally had no idea this was the case until I studied the Upper Peninsula a bit more, but it happens (usually after September) and in general these things can happen anywhere (for example, see my post on Northern Lights in NYC for details), but just keep in mind that they can happen here and it makes visiting Presque Isle even more worth it.

Presque Isle Park reviews:

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Popular questions on Presque Isle Park MI:

Is Presque Isle State Park worth visiting?

Absolutely! Presque Isle State Park has a lot of things to see and do including a scenic drive, nature walks, great views of Lake Superior, sunsets and even periods where you can see the Northern Lights too.

Is there a fee for Presque Isle Park?

No, it’s free to visit Presque Isle Park.

Does Presque Isle Park have a beach?

Yes, there is an area called Black Rocks Beach in Presque Isle Park you can swim at.

Here are a few more Presque Isle photos:

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Related places to see near Presque Isle Park Marquette:

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