Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Start Elevation: 972 ft.
Overlook Elevation: 1506 ft.
Distance: 3.41 mi. (my FR230)
Elevation Gain: 950 ft. (estimate)
Start Time: 7:03am
End Time 7:54am
In my preparations to visit the Porcupines I had heard the Overlook Trail mentioned in a few places as having wonderful views. It also fit the bill length-wise as a good morning trail-run that was also close to our camp at Union Bay. I made the short drive from camp over to the Government Peak trailhead where one can pickup the Overlook Trail.
The beginning trail heading up from the trailhead is incredibly rocky, so much so that running is almost hazardous with the risks of turning an ankle. Not long after the junction with the Escarpment trail's end the trail improves quickly becoming a standard dirt trail in the forest. I noticed early on the ending point for the Overlook trail which came quickly and wasn't signed. I decided to play it safe and wait for the more prominent junction which, by my GPS watch, came about 6/10s of a mile in.
|View from the overlook
After the Overlook the trail wound around on the top of the hill there and then worked its way to the backside of the slope for the descent. One thing I noticed on the "backside" is that the trail quality progressively declined. As I neared the bottom of the descent and into the last 3/4 of a mile heading west to the main trail there were downed trees everywhere. It was really slow going and in one spot I really had to hunt to figure out where the trail had gone. This is a rare area where I would recommend against doing the whole Overlook Trail loop and instead do the climb to the Overlook and descend the same route. I found this trail to also be longer than listed on the signage. Where the hike as a whole seemed to list at about 2.75-3 miles my GPS came out and said 3.41 miles. And it is rare, if ever, for the GPS to give a longer distance reading in such forest running.
|Through the trees you could see Lake Superior, not sure the photo actually captured that
I have a track and waypoints from the hike all contained in a KML file that you are welcome to download and use (at your own risk).