A Couple Embracing At The Top Of A Mountain - Hikes In Marquette.
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6 Beautiful Hikes in Marquette You Need to Explore

Marquette is a town known for many things – history, skiing, mountain biking, breweries, and of course, hiking. I spent almost 10 years in Colorado, bagging peaks and filling my time with finding the next best trail.

When we moved to Michigan, I was told not to discount the trails and was pointed Up North to Marquette. My expectations were well exceeded.

The lush green landscape, the rocks lining the trails, and the deep blue water of Lake Superior make it an outstanding location for prime hiking. 

Year after year, I go back – in both the summer and winter – and I am never disappointed with what awaits me. Listed below are some of my personal recommendations!

Rushing Water At Dead River Falls.
Watching the powerful water at Dead River Falls!

Dead River Falls

Parking and Location

Free parking at Trailhead. Follow Google Maps from your location – you will typically drive along Wright St until you make a left on Forestville Rd. Continue along to Ambrose Circle to the parking lot.

Trail Length/Difficulty

You will reach the first waterfall in just over a quarter of a mile. If you continue to follow the path and the waterfalls, you can hike almost a mile. Most of the trail has an incline, and there are some tricky spots on the trail as you climb over and around tree roots.

I’d say this trail is moderate – accessible for most people with a few challenging sections. 

Dead River Falls Trail Experience

The beauty and wonder found within this trail exceed expectations. You begin the trail at the base of a powerplant, probably wondering if you are at the right spot! Climb the gravel hill to the top, and, to your left, you will see a staircase leading you into the forest.

Here is where you will begin to hear the pounding water of the falls. As you pop out of the woods, the first view of the falls will greet you. Continue along the trail to a range of waterfalls, with places to dip your feet in.

Stop to have a snack on one of the large rock outcroppings or for a moment of radiant peace. Continue up the trail to catch a glimpse of all the waterfalls before you dead end into a little placid lake above.

Waterfalls At Yellow Dog Falls.
Rushing water flowing at Yellow Dog Falls!

Yellow Dog River Falls

Parking and Location

Free Parking at Trailhead. Follow Google Maps to County Road 510 between Big Bay and Marquette.

Trail Length/Difficulty

The trail to the falls and back is two miles in total. This is a flat, easy trail through the forest.

Yellow Dog River Falls Experience

When you arrive at the trail, there is no indication that a waterfall is even within range. The entire hike, my family and I wondered if we were really going to end at any water feature! You will walk a flat, slightly overgrown trail, with a few glimpses of the river running alongside the path.

Suddenly, you will begin to hear a change in the river, as you find the waterfalls. The falls dump into a river, with plenty of spots to skip rocks, take a dip, or lay on the bank, watching the roaring and tumbling falls.

It was reminiscent of many of the waterfalls we have seen in North Carolina – with slippery rocks and abundant power.

Girls Stands On Rocks By Lake Superior
My daughter posing on the rocky shoreline at Wetmore Landing.

Wetmore Landing Shoreline Trail

Parking and Location

Free parking at the trailhead, if you have a Michigan Recreation Pass (only a few dollars if you do not). The trailhead is clearly marked and located just off of County Road 550 a few miles west of Marquette.

Trail Length/Difficulty

Wetmore Landing is a scenic section of the North Country Trail. You can hike for a short distance to the beach and some of the rock croppings, or you can take the hike further and follow the trail to Little Presque Isle Recreation Area, gaining you an overall mileage of 3.5 miles total.

The trail is relatively easy and flat, with just a few sections of incline or rocks.

Wetmore Landing Experience

Lake Superior takes the cake. I love all the Great Lakes, but Lake Superior holds a special place in my heart. Its crystal clear, deep blue waters sing with motion and waves, providing the perfect soundtrack to your hike.

The beginning of the trail walks along the beach, a rock hunter’s delight. As you follow the trail to the left, there are numerous rocks to scramble on with hidden alcoves below that kids will delight in.

The path leads you onwards, eventually reaching a staircase that leads you upwards, to views that will take your breath away. It’s a unique viewpoint of the beach below and the water beyond. The trail then descends back down alongside the water, hiking through the beautiful, shady forest.

My favorite section ends at Little Presque Isle, where you can stop and swim, have a snack, or watch as people wade across to the island. After a break, simply turn around and return to your beginning.

A Couple Embracing At The Top Of A Mountain - Hikes In Marquette.
Pausing to give thanks at the top of Hogsback Mountain.

Hogsback Mountain

Parking and Location

There are two trailheads you can choose to use. If you are looking for the ultimate experience, my recommendation is from the North Parking Lot. You can follow your GPS just west of Marquette on County Road 550 to the trailhead (across from Wetmore Landing).

Trail Length/Difficulty

There’s no way around it – this trail that clocks in at 3.8 miles is a challenge. Watch your blazes carefully, as there are intersecting mountain bike trails. I’d recommend downloading the AllTrails app (it’s free!) so you can follow your progress and ensure you are on the correct trail.

Hogsback Mountain Experience

Don’t let the challenge deter you from giving this one a go! My kids have hiked this one from the young age of 4. Even with its difficulty, this is the one they request year after year, marveling at their accomplishment.

The trail starts off fairly flat but quickly becomes rocky and full of roots, so do watch your footing! The hike leads you through a peaceful forest, encouraging you to look up at their tall trunks and the leaves waving above.

You will start to get views of the mountain at several clearings in the woods. As you near the mountain, the incline will increase dramatically, ending with an incredible, yet hard, rock scramble to the summit. Take your time, and enjoy the adventure!

As you reach the peak, the 360 views are worth it! You are high above the trees, with views of Lake Superior, downtown Marquette, and Big Bay to the north. Pack a beer from one of the delicious breweries in Marquette and enjoy it at the top.

Rocks And Tree Viewpoint At Presque Isle Park.
A gorgeous view in a hidden cove at Presque Isle Park.

Presque Isle Park

Parking and Location

This is an easy two-mile trail- a fantastic meander alongside Lake Superior and the famous Black Rocks. Follow your GPS to the Presque Isle Park entrance, and find free parking in the main free parking lot. You can join up to the trail that follows the perimeter of the peninsula from here.

Presque Isle Experience

This trail is a lovely addition to some of the more grueling hikes in the area. It has it all – stunning trees in the forest, views of Lake Superior, the Blackrocks, and more. You could spend a whole day in the park, finding places to swim, picnic, or watch the sunset.

Lake Superior Views.
Gorgeous views of Lake Superior on top of Sugarloaf Mountain!

Sugarloaf Mountain

Parking and Location

Free parking at the easy-to-find trailhead. Follow your GPS on County Road 550 to the clearly marked trailhead.

Trail Length/Difficulty

This one is short and sweet – a roundtrip of 1.5 miles. It is a moderate trail, with a slight incline as you wind your way through the stairs to the summit.

Sugarloaf Mountain Experience

If you want inspirational views with low mileage, this one’s for you! This trail is definitely one of the most well-known and loved. Easy enough for families of all ages, with plenty to see.

Our family has always taken on the more complex Hogsback Mountain, but this year, we decided to add this trail to our list and couldn’t have been happier. There are mysterious and mossy rock formations along the trail, with staircases leading you to the summit above.

At the peak, you will find a stone memorial, 360-degree views, and multiple platforms, each with its own exceptional view. Lake Superior feels like you could reach out and touch it, with the ore docks and shoreline completing what you’ll see.

Boy On Rock In Lake Superior.
Jackson taking a refreshing swim at Little Presque!

Savor These Hikes in Marquette

Whether you opt for mountain-top views or a quiet stroll along the shore, you will leave the trail with the magic of Marquette imprinted deep within you. The rocky landscape, crystal blue water, and rolling hills of pine trees await!

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