Give archery a shot, explore nature at Porkies

Have you ever wanted to give archery a shot? Here’s your chance. Join the DNR for Arrows Away – a free, weekly archery program offered at state parks, including Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon.

The experienced, friendly instructor will provide step-by-step archery instruction in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. You’ll learn basic archery safety and terminology, and get lots of shooting time.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park offers this program, recommended for all ages, on Mondays at 7 p.m. through Aug. 26. All equipment is provided, and no pre-registration needed. Anyone under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Arrows Away is just one of many Porcupine Mountains Visitor Center nature programs, hikes and activities designed to help visitors explore the outdoors. These programs are held at the park from mid-June through early October and from the end of December through February. Examples of commonly held programs include:

Michigan Gray Wolf Hike – Take a hike into wolf habitat and learn about one of Michigan’s most controversial mammals.

Nonesuch Hike – A hike to the long-abandoned Nonesuch town site for a glimpse into the everyday life in an 1880s wilderness copper mining community.

Agates Rock – Learn to identify some of the more common Lake Superior beach stones while searching for the elusive Lake Superior agate.

Cloud Peak Hike – This two-hour, 2-mile hike climbs to the historic Lake of the Clouds viewing site. Cloud Peak is one of the premier panoramic views in the park.

Bear Den Hike – An opportunity to stick your head in a bear den, as hikers explore the life of Michigan’s black bear and end up at an actual bear den site.

Lepisto Falls Hike – This 3-mile hike takes visitors to a waterfall very few others ever get to see. It is an adventurous hike.

For a detailed schedule, see the Porcupine Mountains Visitor Center website at or call 885-5275.

The visitor center, located at 33303 Headquarters Road in Ontonagon, introduces visitors to the rich wilderness heritage of the 60,000-acre Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Set alongside the largest old-growth hardwood-hemlock forest in the Great Lakes region, the center features exhibits and programs that tell the story of the Upper Peninsula.

You can also explore Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park by getting GPS coordinates for key locations within the park. Park staff has put together a .GPX file with information for spots like cabins, the visitor center, campgrounds, waterfalls, yurts, scenic areas and trailheads. Most GPS units include software that will allow you to use this data. The .GPX file is available for download on the visitor center website – click on “Get GPS coordinates for key locations within Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.”

Casey Warner is with the Michigan DNR’s Marketing and Outreach Division. To receive regular stories about events going on at parks across the state, visit, click on the red envelope, and subscribe to Inside Michigan’s Great Outdoors, the official newsletter of Michigan state parks.