Day Trips from Grand Marais

Grand Marais is an ideal base for exploring the richness of the surrounding area. We’ve prepared several itineraries for day trips, depending on your interests. Pack a lunch, grab the cooler, and have fun exploring the beauty of the Grand Marais area!

Don’t forget: Bug spray, comfortable shoes, and a jacket – the weather can change quickly. Water is available at many spots but bringing something to drink is always a good idea. Gas pumps may be few and far between, especially in Pictured Rocks. Plan ahead.

Big Spring – Kitchi-ti-kipi

Michigan’s largest freshwater spring, Kitchi-ti-kipi is located in Palms Books State Park, a little over an hour from Grand Marais on US-2 west of Manistique. The spring is 200 feet across and 40 feet deep and is a constant 45 degrees, year-round. View this natural wonder from a self-propelled observation raft. Website

Fayette State Park and Ghost Town

Fayette Historic State Park is located on the Garden Peninsula, 17 miles south of US-2 (about 1 hr. 45 mins. from Grand Marais). The historic townsite, a once bustling iron smelting industrial community, features more than 20 historic buildings. A visitor center provides opportunities to learn about life in a 19th century industrial town through interpretation provided by the Michigan Historical Center. Visitors can take guided tours or self-guided walks. Website

Gar-Lyn Zoo

This 30-acre, family-operated zoo is the largest in the eastern UP and a perfect destination for families with kids! Just over an hour from Grand Marais, the zoo is located on US-2 east of Naubinway. Open seven days a week, May 1 – October 31. Website

Lake Superior State Forest

To the south and east of Grand Marais lies the vast Lake Superior State Forest, offering unique camping and hiking opportunities for those who like to get away from it all (but not too far away!) Included in the state forest are numerous campgrounds, hugging both the shore of Lake Superior and the quiet inland lakes. Hunting, fishing, biking, hiking, and snowmobiling are other popular activities here. Contact (906) 293-5131 for information, or visit this LSSF Information Page.

Lakenenland Sculpture Park & Marquette Area

Welder Tom Lakenen has created a fantastic collection of sculptures from scrap iron, all contained in this free sculpture park. Walk the trails and marvel at his creations! Kids love it. Located on M-28, fifteen miles east of Marquette, about 90 minutes from Grand Marais. Website

Muskellonge Lake State Park

Situated between the shores of Lake Superior and Muskallonge Lake, Muskallonge Lake State Park is the former site of a lumbering town and an Indian encampment. Camp, fish, hike, and enjoy the unspoiled Lake Superior beach. Website

Oswald’s Bear Ranch

Oswald’s Bear Ranch is the 240-acre home to more than two dozen black bears rescued from across the United States. The four multi-acre fenced enclosures contain the bears’ natural habitat. Voted a Top 10 family attraction in the UP. Open Memorial Day weekend to September 30th. Website

Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Located just 30 minutes south of Grand Marais, the Seney National Wildlife Refuge offers fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, kayaking on the Manistique River, birdwatching, nature trails, kid-friendly exhibits, and much more. Start at the Visitor Center and finish with the seven-mile Marshland Wildlife Drive. Website

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

The Tahquamenon River flows through this state park, and the Upper Falls are the second-largest east of the Mississippi. The park is about 90 minutes from Grand Marais on M-123. There is a restaurant on site. Website

Toonerville Trolley & River Cruise

Enjoy a narrow-gauge train ride through the woods to the Tahquamenon River, followed by a cruise trip to the Upper Tahquamenon Falls. Or simply enjoy the train ride as you watch for wildlife. Trains depart from Soo Junction, about an hour from Grand Marais. Website

U.S. Lifesaving Stations Tour

Coming soon!

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

Located at Whitefish Point, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum contains artifacts from many famous wrecks, including the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald. The museum is 20 minutes from Tahquamenon Falls, about 2 hours from Grand Marais. Open May 1 – Oct. 31. Website

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory

Whitefish Point acts as a natural migration corridor, bringing thousands of birds through this flyway every spring and fall. Home to numerous rare breeding birds, this Globally Important Bird Area has recorded over 340 bird species. The banding lab and observatory are located next to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Website