Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Upper Peninsula of Michigan

] The peninsula has extensive coastline on the Great Lakes, large tracts of state and national forests, cedar swamps, more than 150 waterfalls, and low population densities. Because of the camping, boating, fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, and hiking opportunities, many Lower Peninsula and Wisconsin families spend their vacations in the U.P. Tourists also go there from Chicago and other metropolitan areas.

Notable attractions

* Au Train Falls
* Bond Falls
* Copper Harbor
* DeYoung Family Zoo
* Fayette Historic State Park
* Fort Mackinac
* Garlyn Zoo
* Grand Hotel (Mackinac Island)
* Grand Island National Recreation Area
* The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
* Iron County Historical Museum Complex - Caspian
* Iron Industry Museum - Negaunee
* Iron Mountain Iron Mine - Vulcan
* Isle Royale National Park
* Keweenaw National Historical Park
* Lake Superior State University, Lakers
* The Mackinac Bridge
* Mackinac Island
* Marquette Arts and Culture Center - Marquette
* Marquette Mountain Ski Resort
* Michigan Technological University, Huskies
* National Ski Hall of Fame
* Northern Michigan University, Wildcats
* Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
* Pine Mountain ski jump in Iron Mountain is one of the largest artificial ski jumps in the world. [ [http://www.exploringthenorth.com/jump/jump.html Pine Mountain ski jump] ]
* Porcupine Mountains State Park
* Seney National Wildlife Refuge
* The Soo Locks
* Suicide Hill, Ishpeming, Michigan [ [http://www.exploringthenorth.com/suicide/jump.html Suicide Hill.] ]
* Tahquamenon Falls State Park
* Upper Peninsula Children's Museum - Marquette


American Indian casinos contribute to the tourist attractions and are popular in the U.P. The Ojibwa nation started one of the first Indian casinos in the country in Baraga County. Originally the casinos were simple, one-room affairs. Some of the casinos are now quite elaborate and are being developed as part of resort and conference facilities. The Kewadin nation has casinos in St. Ignace, Sault Sainte Marie, Hessel, Christmas and Manistique, and the Chip-In Island Resort and Casino in Harris.


The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower by the Straits of Mackinac, five miles (8 km) across at the narrowest, and is connected to it by the Mackinac Bridge at St. Ignace, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Until the bridge was completed in 1957, travel between the two peninsulas was difficult and slow (and sometimes even impossible during winter months). Car ferries ran between the two peninsulas, and at the busiest times of year the wait was several hours. In winter, travel was only possible over the ice after the straits had solidly frozen.

Despite its rural character, the Upper Peninsula offers many transportation options. [ [http://www.december.com/places/up/transit.html Transportation in the Upper Peninsula.] ]


The primary means of transportation in the Upper Peninsula is by automobile. It is served by one interstate and several U.S. highways and Michigan state trunklines.

Interstate highway

* Sault Ste. Marie
* St. Ignace

US highways

* and into Wisconsin.
* west into Wisconsin.
*. [http://www.december.com/places/up/transit.html UP Transit: Find your way in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA ] ]
* south into Wisconsin.
* and then exits south into Wisconsin.


There are 42 airports in the Upper Peninsula.

There are six airports with commercial passenger service: Gogebic-Iron County Airport north of Ironwood, Houghton County Memorial Airport northeast of Hancock, Ford Airport west of Iron Mountain, Sawyer International Airport south of Marquette, Delta County Airport in Escanaba, and Chippewa County International Airport south of Sault Ste. Marie.

There are 19 other public use airports with a hard surface runway. These are used for general aviation and charter. Notably, Mackinac Island, Beaver Island, and Drummond Island are all accessible by airports.

There are 5 public access airports with turf runways.

There are 13 airports for the private use of their owners.

There is only one control tower in the whole Upper Peninsula, at Sawyer.

Ferries and bridges

The Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority operates car ferries in its area. These include ferries for Sugar Island, Neebish Island, and Drummond Island. Three ferry companies run passenger ferries from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island.

The three major bridges in the Upper Peninsula are Mackinac Bridge, connecting Northern Michigan to the Upper Peninsula; Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge, which connects the Michigan and Canadian Sault Ste. Marie; and the Portage Lift Bridge, which crosses Portage Lake. The Portage Lift Bridge is the world's heaviest and widest double-decked vertical lift bridge. Its center span "lifts" to provide convert|100|ft|m of clearance for ships. Since rail traffic was discontinued in the Keweenaw, the lower deck is used to accommodate snowmobile traffic in the winter. As the only land-based link between the north and south sections of the Keweenaw Peninsula, the bridge is crucial to transportation. [ [http://www.keweenaw.info/virtualkeweenaw.aspx Virtual Keweenaw Peninsula.] ]


*Grand Trunk Corporation: Provides rail service for the Menominee area and south into Wisconsin.
*Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad: Transports iron ore over a 16 mile (26 km) line from the Empire-Tilden Mine (operated by Cleveland-Cliffs), south of Ishpeming, to Marquette's port on Lake Superior.
*Soo Line Railroad Sault Ste. Marie is the namesake of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railway, now the Soo Line Railroad, the U.S. arm of the Canadian Pacific Railway. This railroad has a bridge parallel to the International Bridge, crossing the St. Mary's River.
* Escanaba & Lake Superior Railroad [http://www.elsrr.com] : Chartered in 1898, the E&LS is an industrial beltline railroad with 347 miles of trackage connecting Escanaba, Ontonagon, Republic, and Green Bay, Wisconsin, with a common junction at Channing, and a spur to Nestoria from Sidnaw.


The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has three state universities: Northern Michigan University in Marquette; Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie; and Michigan Technological University in Houghton. Finlandia University is a private university located in Hancock, Michigan, on the Keweenaw Peninsula.


Early settlers included multiple waves of people from Nordic countries. There are still Swedish- and Finnish-speaking communities in many areas of the Upper Peninsula today. People of Finnish ancestry make up 16% of the peninsula's population. The U.P. is home to the highest concentration of Finns outside Europe and the only counties of the United States where a plurality of residents claim Finnish ancestry. [. Finlandia University, America's only college with Finnish roots, is located in Hancock. [cite web|url=http://hunts-upguide.com/keweenaw_peninsula.html|accessdate=2006-10-01|title=Keweenaw Peninsula] Street signs in Hancock appear in English and Finnish to celebrate this heritage.

Other sizeable ethnic communities in the Upper Peninsula include French-Canadian, German, Cornish, Italian, and American Indian ancestry.

Upper Peninsula natives speak a dialect influenced by Scandinavian and French-Canadian speech. A popular bumper sticker, a parody of the "Say YES to Michigan" slogan promoted by state tourism officials, shows an outline of the Upper Peninsula and the slogan, "Say yah to da U.P., eh!"

"The Mining Journal", based in Marquette, is the only daily newspaper with distribution across the entire U.P. It has been the region's primary newspaper for more than 150 years, but other towns also have local newspapers.

Regional identity

Today, the Upper Peninsula is home to 328,000 people—only about 3% of the state's population— living in almost one-third of the state's land area. Residents are known as Yoopers, (from "U.P.ers") and many consider themselves Yoopers before they consider themselves Michiganders. (People living in the Lower Peninsula are commonly called "trolls" by Upper Peninsula residents, as they live "Under da Bridge.") This regionalism is not only a result of the physical separation of the two peninsulas, but also the history of the state.

Residents of the western Upper Peninsula take on some of the cultural identities of both Wisconsin and Michigan. In terms of sports fandom, residents often gravitate toward the nearby Wisconsin teams, particularly the Green Bay Packers. This is a result of both proximity and the broadcast and print media of the area. However, the typical high school graduate from the U.P. will likely look first to local universities, and then to the Lower Peninsula schools, rather than to Wisconsin schools.Fact|date=February 2007

A trip downstate is often rather difficult: a trip from Ironwood to Detroit is roughly 600 miles (960 km) long, more than twice the distance to Minneapolis and almost as long as a trip to St. Louis. Such a trip is made more difficult by the lack of freeways: a short section of I-75 is the only freeway in the U.P. Commonly, people of the western U.P. will go to Minneapolis or Wisconsin for trips, but they have managed to retain identity with Michigan. Residents of the northeastern part of the U.P. may cross the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge to Canada more often than they cross the Mackinac Bridge to the Lower Peninsula, and they often associate more closely with Northern Ontario.


The Upper Peninsula has a distinctive local cuisine. The pasty, a kind of meat turnover originally brought to the region by Cornish miners, is popular among locals and tourists alike. Pasty varieties include chicken, venison, pork, hamburger, and pizza. Many restaurants serve potato sausage and "cudighi", a spicy Italian meat.

Finnish immigrants contributed "nisu", a cardamon-flavored sweet bread; "pannukakku", a variant on the pancake with a custard flavor; "viili" (sometimes spelled "fellia"), a stretchy, fermented Finnish milk; and "korppu", hard slices of toasted cinnamon bread, traditionally dipped in coffee. Thimbleberry jam and maple syrup are highly prized local delicacies. [Hunts Guide to Michigan's Upper Peninsula "http://hunts-upguide.com/specialty_foods.html" "Hunts Guide to Michigan's Upper Peninsula" March 31, 2007. Retrieved on March 31, 2007.] Fresh Great Lakes fish, such as the lake trout and whitefish, are widely eaten, despite concerns about PCB contamination and elevated mercury concentrations. Smoked and pickled fish are also popular.

Notable residents

*Former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr is an alumnus of Northern Michigan University; he was quarterback for the school's football team during an undefeated season in 1967. He graduated from NMU in 1968 with his B.S. in education and went on to earn his M.A. in education administration at NMU in 1970.
*George Gipp, the "Gipper"—immortalized in the film "Knute Rockne, All American" by Ronald Reagan—was born in Laurium. He was the first All-American at the Notre Dame football program.
*Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, aircraft engineer and aeronautical innovator, was born in Ishpeming.
*John Lautner, a native of Marquette and alumnus of Northern Michigan University, was one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most successful Taliesin fellows. His Modernist residence, Chemosphere, is a Los Angeles landmark.
*Former Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci and Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo are both natives of Iron Mountain. Both went to Northern Michigan University, where Mariucci was quarterback of the Wildcats' 1975 NCAA Division II national championship team.
*Terry O'Quinn, actor, was born in Newberry in 1952.
*Chase Osborn was the only Governor of Michigan from the Upper peninsula (1911-1913).
*Pam Reed is an ultrarunner who currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. She grew up in Palmer, Michigan, and graduated from Michigan Technological University.
*Mike Shaw, professional wrestler, was born in Skandia. He wrestled in the WWF as Bastion Booger and the WCW as Norman the Lunatic.
*Howard Schultz, chairman of Starbucks Coffee Co., is a Northern Michigan University alumnus.
*Glenn T. Seaborg, a chemist and major contributor in the discovery of several of the transuranium elements, was born in Ishpeming. Before his death in 1999, he was the only living person to have a chemical element named after him (seaborgium, abbreviated as Sg and with atomic number 106). This name caused controversy because Seaborg was still alive, but eventually it was accepted by international chemists. Though he lived most of his life in California, the Seaborg Center at Northern Michigan University is named in his honor.
*Mary Chase Perry Stratton founder of Pewabic Pottery, was born in Hancock, Michigan. [ [http://info.detnews.com/history/story/index.cfm?id=23&category=life/ Detroit News] ]
*Art Van Damme, jazz accordionist, was born in Norway.
*Hon. John D. Voelker, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, wrote the best selling book "Anatomy of a Murder" under the pen name Robert Traver. The movie—filmed in Big Bay and Ishpeming (with some courtroom scenes in Marquette)—was directed by Otto Preminger.
*Steven Wiig, actor in (Into the Wild (film)) and musician, was born and raised in Negaunee, Michigan, attended Northern Michigan University and works with the band Metallica.

ee also

*List of counties in Michigan
*List of Michigan county name etymologies


External links

* [http://clarke.cmich.edu/lighthouses/lhtime1.htm Beacons in the Night, Michigan Lighthouse Chronology, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.]
* [http://clarke.cmich.edu/ Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography on Michigan (arranged by counties and regions)]
* [http://clarke.cmich.edu/oilandgas/geology.htm Michigan Geology -- Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University.]
* [http://www.infomi.com/city/ Info Michigan, detailed information on 630 cities]
* [http://www.exploringthenorth.com/townsmi/townsmi.html Exploring the North -- travel, history, general information.]
* [http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/ Great Lakes Coast Watch]
* [http://www.michigan.gov/dnr Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, harbors, hunting, resources and more.]
* [http://www.michmarkers.com/default.asp Michigan Historic Markers]
* [http://www.michigan.org Michigan's Official Economic Development and Travel Site, including interactive map, information on attractions, museums, etc.]
* [http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mcd-city-vill_up_20150_7.pdf Map of Upper Peninsula Counties and Minor Civil Divisions]
* [http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/WEBLIGHTHOUSES/LHMI.html USCG's complete list of Michigan lighthouses.]
* [http://www.michigan.gov/documents/hal_mhc_shpo_lightmap_50933_7.pdf Map of Michigan Lighthouses] in PDF Format.
* [http://www.michigan.org Michigan's Official Economic Development and Travel Site.]
* [http://www.exploremunising.com ExploreMunising.com Complete online travel and service directory]

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