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  • McCormick Tract Wilderness Tour

McCormick Tract Wilderness TourAs we all remember when studying the History of the United States and the Industrial Revolution Cyrus McCormick invented the reaper or machines that cut and separated wheat and other grains from the stalk. He and his family later were the founders of the International Harvester Company in Chicago and this remote untouched area of pristine wilderness was their

family hunting camp and lodge. The land was purchased initially from the U.S. Government for $3.16 per acre (151 acres) in 1884 by Cyrus McCormick II. Over the years they grew the acreage to over 17,000 acres. In 1968 Gordon McCormick, grandson of the inventor of the reaper, willed this land to the U.S. Forest Service so all citizens of this country could enjoy and keep it preserved forever just like we have done with our National Park System.

This tour will take you on an easy trek of about 6.5 miles on an old logging road to the remnants of the Old McCormick Lodge (it has been disassembled and is stored in Marquette) and White Deer Lake. Sprinkled around a broad swath of forest is a mosaic of sparkling lakes, clear running streams, and rock outcroppings.

We begin our trek on the banks of the Pesheeke River, that flows in a south easterly direction into Lake Michigamme and continues as the Michigamme River merging with the Brule to form the Menominee River, and empties into Green Bay on Lake Michigan. The trail along this river was used by Native Americans and early Explorers as a transit from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan. But we are crossing the river (on a study bridge) and going north on the White Deer Lake Trail. As we thread our way between a cliffy headland and along a scrubby stretch of marshy waters for about a little over a mile we begin to ascend a slope and the ambiance of the Great Northern Forest begins. Much of this land was missed by the loggers of the past two centuries when the native white pine was harvested to build the cities of the Midwest. A hardwood forest of maples is also negotiated as we silently follow the trail watching and listening for wildlife along the way.

After a distance of approximately 3.2 miles of rolling hardwoods we come upon a flat open spot where the remnants of the McCormick Camp and Buildings remain. Just beyond lays the tranquil White Deer Lake and on a small island just offshore is where the old lodge was located.

This is a great spot for our lunch and a little relaxation. Try to envision people coming here over a hundred years ago by train and coach from Chicago. There were no radios, telephones, electricity, and refrigeration. Ice was cut on the lake in the winter and then stored in an ice house in sawdust for the cooling of perishables. During lunch, which will be Pasties (what else in the UP) you guide will give a short lecture about the origin, life, and demise of the White Deer Lake Camp. We also cover a short history lesson about the central part of the Upper Peninsula, its inhabitants, immigrants, minerals, wildlife, and geological past.

If you are on the overnight trip we’ll set up camp after which we’ll have time to explore White Deer Lake and take some small treks in the area.

In the evening and around the campfire we can watch for the northern lights and listen for the night sounds of the forest. In the morning you’ll hopefully be awakened by the laughing of the Loons on the lake.

Retracing our steps back the trail we’ll again try to be silent and listen to the magical sounds of the forest as we learn about some of the fauna of the northern woodland.

Taking a side trail we’ll take a short but interesting into the Lower Baraga Lake. It’s about a mile long lake nestled in spruce forests and granite outcroppings so typical of the area. It’s a very good fishing lake for Northern Pike.

The cost of this trip is $89.00 per person with a minimum of 5 people.

Family rate is $450.00 for up to 5 members.

The lunch is included. You should bring you own water.

Walking Sticks are included and ponchos too if needed.

An overnight camping tour which includes all gear and eats add $50 per person.

Bring your camera!!!!!!!!

Call us at 906-228-5447 for a reservation.

More

Great Central UP Hiking Trails and Tours

  • Craig Lake Loop

About at 60 minute drive west of Marquette, Craig Lake State Park is Michigan’s most remote state forest. Consisting of 6,984 acres it consists of two lakes, Craig Lake and Crooked Lake. The entire circumnavigation around the lakes and through the park is about 7.5 miles. It is a mosaic of streams, lakes, quiet forests, hills, and rock outcroppings. Seeing Loons and eagles is pretty much a sure thing. Moose have often been seen in this area as well.

 

 

 


The cost of this trip is $99.00 per person with a minimum of 5 people.

Family rate is $499.00 for up to 5 members.

The lunch is included. You should bring you own water.

Walking Sticks are included and ponchos too if needed.

Bring your camera!!!!!!!!

Call us at 906-228-5447 for a reservation.


  • Grand Island

Grand Island, aptly named is about 8 miles long and is within a couple of acres the same size and shape of Manhattan Island in New York City. Of course, it is more like Manhattan Island in the 1600’s. Only about ½ miles offshore we take the ferry from the Grand Island Landing across to Williams Landing to begin our trek. Traveling on a counterclockwise loop of the southern part of the island the loop is 10.9 miles in length. Grand Island is an offshore version of the Pictured Rocks but has not shortage of its own attractions. Craggy cliffs, sandy beaches, Old Settlers cabins, beautiful hardwood forests, Black Bears, White Tailed Deer, Eagles, Beavers, and Loons are all found here if pretty good numbers. The east side of the island loop gives us an excellent view of the Pictured Rocks. This can be a day trip or we can camp overnight. Either way it will an excellent experience for you and family or friends.


The cost of this trip is $99.00 per person with a minimum of 5 people.

Family rate is $499.00 for up to 5 members.

Grand Island Ferry R/T Fee of $15 per person included.

The lunch is included. You should bring you own water.

Walking Sticks are included and ponchos too if needed.
An overnight camping tour which includes all gear and eats add $50 per person.

Bring your camera!!!!!!!!

Call us at 906-228-5447 for a reservation.

 

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