The Escarpment is the northernmost of the three main formations in the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness. The others, Summit Peak and Government Peak, are smaller and much less scenic. Though the Escarpment is slightly shorter than Summit Peak, it is the undisputed king of the Porkies. It is a long ridge with three official peaks: Cuyahoga, Cloud, and Miscowawbic. At 1571 feet, Cuyahoga is the tallest of the peaks and anchors the line in the east. Cloud Peak is less than a mile west of Cuyahoga, across a deep cut in the ridge. The western end of the ridge is anchored by Miscowawbic Peak,
the shortest of the three at just over 1400 feet. Bounded to the north by Lake Superior and to the south by Lake of the Clouds, the Escarpment is a scenic hike that can be done as a dayhike or as part of a backpacking loop. For much of its length, 400 foot cliffs drop off to the south.
The 8 mile ridge is traversed in full by the Escarpment Trail and the Big Carp Trail. It can be accessed from the paved road that runs below the top of the ridge. About two miles west of Cloud peak, the paved road (MI 107) pulls up the side of the Escarpment to a scenic overlook. There is a parking lot there as well as garbage cans so you don't have to carry out all you garbage. The trail can be a challenge for some hikers. Throughout its length, the Escarpment provides panoramic views of Lake of the Clouds as well as a break from the thicker forests that characterize much of the park.
There are three trails onto the Escarpment: Escarpment Trail, Big Carp River Trail, and North Mirror Lake Trail. The Escarpment trail starts in the east at Cuyahoga Creek. It then traverses Cuyahoga and Cloud (1486') Peaks, putting you on the highest point of the Escarpment. At the scenic overlook, the North Mirror Lake Trail grinds straight up the south side of the Escarpment at the intersection of the Escarpment Trail and the Big Carp River Trail. The Escarpment's western half is on the Big Carp River trail. This trail takes you over Miscowawbic Peak (1443'). The Big Carp terminates at Lake Superior at the mouth of the Big Carp River. On the way, the BCR Trail also hits Lafayette Peak (1312'). Lafayette is not considered part of the Escarpment.
See the directions to Porcupine Mountain Wilderness.
From the South:
Take US 45 north to Bruce Crossing. Head west on MI 28 to Bergland. In Bergland, take MI 64 north to Silver City. There, take MI 107 west into the park.
From the West:
Take US 2 east to Wakefield. In Wakefield, get off of US 2 and take MI 28 northeast to Bergland. There, head north on MI 64 to Silver City and then west on MI 107 into the park.
There are daily fees for using the park. Check the Porcupine Mountains
page or the Government Peak
page for more details.
***************NOTE: there is a deer season in mid/late November so consider hiking elsewhere during that time.************************
There are no camp sites on the Escarpment. There are trash cans and a toilet or two at the parking lot and "scenic overlook". However, there are several sites at Lake of the Clouds that put you at the base of the ridge. These sites let you "enjoy" a 400 foot climb to start your day, but they are quite pretty.
External LinksPorkies Tourist site
Great site with trail info