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Marquette, Michigan Parks, Trails, Historic Locations & More

Marquette is the Upper Peninsula's largest city and features plenty of options for outdoor adventures.

Biking and Hiking Trails

Winding along the shores of Marquette Bay and Lake Superior, through residential neighborhoods and into the heart of downtown, Marquette's paved trail system is a popular destination for cyclists, joggers, and walkers. The system is among the best in Michigan when it comes to scenic views and provides easy access to parks, eateries, historic sites, and area attractions. No matter what the weather may be like outside, the waters of Marquette Bay and Lake Superior offer ever-changing scenery along the trail.

Mount Marquette is a skiing and snowboarding destination during the winter, but when the snow melts away, the area welcomes mountain bikers and hikers to use its challenging trails. There are three major trail loops, and each is around 4-5 miles long. The trails each go in one direction (no two-way traffic).

Presque Isle Park also has trails for biking and hiking. The park has a bike route that uses the road that circles the around island. The bike route offers periodic scenic views of Lake Superior and travels through wooded areas, which are very colorful in the fall. Hiking Trails start from the central parking lot on the southern end of the island and wind through wooded areas and near the lakeshore.

Sugarloaf Mountain is located about 7 miles northwest of downtown Marquette, and the Marquette County park is known for its hiking trail, a combination of paths and stairways that lead to the mountain's summit 470 feet above Lake Superior. Viewing platforms located at the summit provide a panoramic view of Lake Superior and the nearby lakeshore.

Bike Routes

A bike route that uses bike lanes and the shoulders along Wright Street connects the Northern Michigan University Campus to the shopping area on US-41/M-28. The bike lanes narrow near Forestville Road, and you need to ride on the narrower, paved shoulder on Wright Street. Target, Walmart, and many other retailers and restaurants are located along US-41/M-28.

Cyclists can ride to Sugarloaf Mountain using a bike route along Country Road 550 and Big Bay Road. The 6-7 mile ride (one way) is hilly and curvy. During the fall, it can be a very beautiful ride. The bike route connects to the Marquette paved trail system on Country Road 550 near the River Park Sports Complex and snakes its way northwest to Sugarloaf Mountain.

Longer bike routes that you can do from Marquette using the paved shoulders of area roads include:
  • Marquette - Munising Bike Route

    A beautiful ride that takes you along the the Lake Superior coastline to Christmas and Munising. The Marquette to Munising bike route uses the paved trail from downtown Marquette to Harvey and then continues on the wide-shoulder along M-28. The bike route is approximately 43 miles from downtown Marquette to Munising. There are several roadside parks near Lake Superior along the way. As always, use caution and follow traffic laws when riding next to the road.

  • Marquette - Gwinn Bike Route

    A scenic bike route that uses the shoulder of M-553 goes from Marquette to the outskirts of Gwinn. The route can be curvy and hilly at times. There's a spot near the near Sawyer Airfield where you can see for miles in all directions. It's less than 20 miles between Marquette and Gwinn. When you get to M-35, go west to reach Gwinn.

  • Marquette - Gladstone Bike Route

    From Marquette, use the wide-shoulder bike route on M-553 and ride towards Gwinn. When you reach M-35, go east towards Little Lake and then continue south to McFarland, Rock, Brampton and finally Gladstone. The road shoulder shrinks when you get near Gladstone High School, and you will need to ride on the outside edge of the road to continue into Gladstone.

Before you go, it's a good idea to check the State of Michigan's construction database to make sure there will not be any construction on the road that can interfere with your ride. For longer routes, you'll also want to pack food, water, and supplies.

Snowmobiling and Cross-Country Skiing Trails

From late December to March, Marquette County is a snowmobiling destination. Snowmobile trails stretch for miles from Marquette, travelling north to Big Bay, east to Negaunee and Ishpeming, and south to Gwinn.

The Marquette area is home to the Noquemanon Ski Marathon and features numerous cross-country ski trails; whether you are new to cross-country skiing or an advanced skier, the Marquette area has challenging trails for every skill level.

Boating and Kayaking

A short distance from downtown Marquette, Cinder Pond Marina has 101 seasonal and transient slips for recreational boats. The facility is located next to Mattson Park on the west side of Marquette's harbor. Cinder Pond Marina provides fuel, launching, docking and other support facilities for boaters.

Presque Isle Marina has 97 boat slips and a boat launch ramp for access to Lake Superior. The marina offers fuel, water, pump out, day-use dockage, electricity and showers. The marina is open from May through October.

Kayaking along near the Lake Superior shoreline can be a fun challenge. On the west side of Presque Isle Park, there is a long sandy beach at the cove. When the waves are calm on the west side of Presque Isle, a kayak can be launched without much problem from the beach.

Parks in the Marquette Area

Presque Isle Park is a located on a large thumb-shaped peninsula on Lake Superior. The park provides picturesque views of the Upper Harbor Light Station, Lake Superior, the Superior Dome, and Marquette. If you like to watch a sunrise or sunset, this is one of the best spots around to see the sun come up or go down on Lake Superior. Presque Isle Park also features recreational trails, a marina, tennis courts, store, picnic areas, and playground equipment.

MooseWood Nature Center is located at Presque Isle Park and hosts nature programs, exhibits and outdoor activities. The center provides a summer camp for kids between June and August and offers educational programs to school groups.

Ellwood A. Mattson Lower Harbor Park is located a short walk from downtown, adjacent to Cinder Pond Marina. The park features a large wooden playscape, an open grassy area, numerous picnic areas, restrooms and a portion of the Marquette paved trail system. Mattson Park is a relaxing spot to spend a sunny day and watch the harbor area. If you're not sure what the large metal structure is east of the park that is about three football fields long, it's an ore dock that was used to load iron ore into large ships a number of years ago. There's an active ore dock near Presque Isle Park, and you can sometimes to see it in action when a ship is in the harbor.

Shiras Park offers a spectacular view of Lake Superior and the Picnic Rocks. The park has picnic facilities, playground equipment and restrooms. Shiras Park is connected to the city's trail system. The lake currents in the area near can be very strong, so swimming is not recommended at Shiras Park. You can walk along the park's sandy beach south to McCarty's Cove.

McCarty's Cove has a sandy swimming beach that is very popular during the summer. The water temperature of Lake Superior can be cold, even during the summer, but a dip on a very hot day can feel nice. The park is located near the Marquette Harbor Light Station and has a playscape and picnic facilities.

South Beach Park is south of downtown on Lake Street and is Marquette's other swimming beach. The park has a large sandy beach, playground equipment and benches.

Tourist Park Campground borders the Dead River on the north side of Marquette. The 40-acre park features many trees, provides easy access to Marquette's paved trail system and the Noquemanon Trail Network, and is close to a favorite fishing spot on the Dead River. Setter Field is located within the Tourist Park and has a softball diamond and picnic tables. Tourist Park Campground has 110 camping sites and is owned and operated by the City of Marquette. For reservation information, please see the City of Marquette's web site.

River Park Sports Complex is a large park with three soccer fields and four softball diamonds. The park is also home to North State BMX, a dirt BMX race course that hosts BMX races.

Gerald Haley Memorial Field and the North Marquette Athletic Field Complex are at the corner of Wright Street and Presque Isle Avenue. West of a large parking area, there is a softball diamond, two regulation baseball diamonds, and one junior baseball diamond are located at the park. On the south side of the park, there is a playground and two basketball courts.

Harlow Park is on the north side of Washington Street, a short distance from downtown. The park has numerous tall shade trees and a large memorial that honors military veterans. On the west side of the park, there is a full-size basketball court and playground equipment.

Father Marquette Park is named for Pere Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary/explorer who helped to establish several missions in Michigan and Illinois during the 1600s that would later become communities, including Chicago. The City of Marquette was originally named Worcester and changed a year later to Marquette in honor of the priest in 1850. The park has a 20-foot monument of Father Marquette that dates back to 1898 and has an excellent view of Lake Superior. Lakeside Park is adjacent to Father Marquette Park and features park benches and historical markers.

North of the Dead River, LaBonte Park offers users of the Marquette paved trail a spot to relax.

More About Marquette

Marquette's charming downtown area features many historic buildings, including the Marquette County Courthouse, where President Theodore Roosevelt won a libel suit in 1913 and which served as a setting for the film Anatomy of a Murder. Things to see along the lakeshore include Marquette Harbor Light Station, the Picnic Rocks, and the old iron ore loader at Marquette's marina. Marquette is also home to Northern Michigan University and the Superior Dome.

There are many restaurants and stores in downtown Marquette and along US-41/M-28. Most of the hotels in Marquette are located along US-41/M-28.

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