Up until the late 1950’s, Summit Peak in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park was thought to be the tallest peak in Michigan. Back then, it was known as ” the peak one mile south of Mirror Lake”. Thinking it was the highest point in Michigan at 1958 feet above sea level, the name ‘State Summit’ was decided upon. It was discovered shortly after that Mt. Curwood, 100 miles to the east, was 20 feet taller. At that point, the name ‘State Summit’ was changed to Summit Peak. It was then discovered in 1982 that Mt. Curwood’s neighbor, Mt. Arvon, was 11 inches taller. Granted, these two peaks are in some fairly remote wilderness, but it is still remarkable that those numbers were not officially surveyed until the year we were married! With that being said, neither Mt. Curwood or Mt. Arvon has any sort of structure at the top of them. Summit Peak has a 40 foot tower, which puts an observer at the top of Michigan! The only people possibly getting above that point are radio tower workers. 🙂
After exploring the Presque Isle River on Tuesday, we decide to check out Summit Peak on our way back to camp.
The trail to the top of Summit Peak begins at a paved parking area at the end of Summit Peak Road. It is a fairly easy 1/2 mile climb through an old growth hardwood forest to the top via a gravel pathway, wooden boardwalk and stairs.
Heading back into the woods, we came to this sign.
Below us, we could see a preview of what is coming soon.
On the way back down, Diana spotted this beauty.
This is Indian Pipe, known also as Corpse Plant of Ghost Plant. It lacks chlorophyll, therefore it has no color to it. With the forest being old growth, the floor was fairly wide open and easy to see across. That made it easy for us to not only see wildflowers, but to also keep an eye out for bears!
So while Summit Peak may not officially be the highest peak in Michigan, it’s tower does offer the highest mountaintop vista available in the state. Make sure to take the time to check it out if you are in the area!