Northern Michigan

New for 2022!  We're partnering with a new gear provider to offer group packages for wilderness backpacking and canoeing destinations across Northern Michigan and (maybe) Wisconsin.  Closer than the Boundary Waters for most groups and avoids the border challenges of going to Algonquin, each of these destinations offers unique dynamics and accessibility.

Click the icons to see the Porcupine Mountains in a 3-minute video >>

Package Details

For Summer 2022, we are offering a Backpacking Package and a River Canoe Trip Package (maybe -- still working on this as of early January) that can be accessed for the Michigan and Wisconsin trip destinations detailed down the page.  At present, backpacking group gear capacity is 18 people and river canoe trip capacity is 16 people.  We MAY be able to supplement the backpacking gear availability from additional partnerships, but river canoe groups will be limited in size.  Please call the office before booking to confirm availability for your group if it will push those limits.

NOTE: All of the items in italics below are yours to keep after the trip.

Backpacking Package

$42 Per Person/Day
  • 3-Person Tents
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads (Full-Length)
  • Cook Pots w/ Cleaning Kit
  • Stoves w/Fuel
  • Bear Rope (Nylon or Paracord)
  • Tarps (Ripstop - 10' x 12')
  • Medical Kits
  • Water Filters
  • Trail Maps (If running a route we spec)
  • Pilgrimage T-Shirt
  • Wilderness Food Package (+$9 pp/day)
  • Base Camp Overnight (+$15 pp/overnight)
  • --

River Canoe Trip Package

$62 Per Person/Day
  • 3-Person Tents
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Self-Inflating Sleeping Pads (Full-Length)
  • Cook Pots w/ Cleaning Kit
  • Stoves w/Fuel
  • Bear Rope (Nylon or Paracord)
  • Tarps (Ripstop - 10' x 12')
  • Medical Kits
  • Water Filters
  • Trail Maps (If running a route we spec)
  • Pilgrimage T-Shirt
  • Wilderness Food Package (+$9 pp/day)
  • Base Camp Overnight (+$15 pp/overnight)
  • Canoes, Paddles & PFDs

Michigan & Wisconsin Trip Destinations

Backpacking in Northern Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (MI)

The North Country Trail crosses through 42 miles of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along the shore of Lake Superior. Its beauty and ease of access makes the lakeshore route very popular amongst backpackers. The moderate difficulty will pose a few challenging climbs, but will also offer plenty of easier terrain. The route is very defined and offers little variation for planning, however the view does not disappoint. Length of the trip and total mileage can be adjusted for each individual group.

  • Trip Type: Backpacking
  • Permits Required: Yes
    • $15/group
    • $5 pp/night
    • No Parking Fee
  • Group Size Limit: 6
  • Multiple Groups Allowed: Yes
  • Park Website

Porcupine Mountains (MI)

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is a destination must for backpacking enthusiasts in the Midwest. The 60,000-acre park boasts scenic rivers, waterfalls, lakeshore, and abundant wildlife. There are more than 90 miles of trails that can be used for creating individualized backpacking itineraries. Although its moderate to difficult terrain can be tough on the backpacker, the ability to custom create your experience offers options for backpackers of any skill level. Length of the trip and total mileage can be adjusted for each individual group.

  • Trip Type: Backpacking
  • Permits Required: Yes
    • $20/night per site
    • $34/vehicle (annual) or $9/day per vehicle
  • Group Size Limit: 6
  • Multiple Groups Allowed: Yes
  • Park Website

River Canoe Trips in Wisconsin

Flambeau River (WI)

The north fork of the Flambeau River is a part of the 75-mile stream network that lies within the Flambeau River State Forest. This fork of the river offers excellent flat water paddling for novices and several rapids further downstream for some excitement. The rapids are class 3 and below and is navigable by canoe. There are portaging options for the hesitant paddler. The progression from flat water to the final class 2-3 rapids is conducive to preparing the novice paddler for the rougher water.

  • Trip Type: River Canoeing
  • Permits Required: No
    • Sites are first come, first served
  • Group Size Limit: 8
  • Multiple Groups Allowed: Yes -- Likelihood of multiple groups camping at adjacent campsites are good, but is missed at times.
  • Park Website

Namekegon River (WI)

The Namekegon River is an excellent choice for novice paddlers or those seeking a flat-water experience. There are long stretches of flat water that are interrupted by small, easily maneuverable rapids. This is a peaceful paddle through the northern forest and bog with little housing development.

  • Trip Type: River Canoeing
  • Permits Required: No
    • Sites are first come, first served
  • Group Size Limit: 8
  • Multiple Groups Allowed: Yes -- Likelihood of multiple groups camping at adjacent campsites are good, but is missed at times.
  • Park Website

FAQ (Other Details)

When backpacking a trail that is not directly governed by a US or State forest service, park, etc..., there generally are not group size rules.  But every trail and situation is different. 

Most of the time, group size comes into play in two layers:

  1. A trail moves through one or more parks or depends on public/private campgrounds for overnight stays.  A park and/or planned overnights at campgrounds may introduce group size or campsite limitations.  Sorting this out is part of the planning process.
  2. You have some learning or engagement goals that will depend on small group subsets of your full group traveling on their own, staggering the route, etc...

We can help you plan group sizes and routes.

This is an extra logistic that MAY add some extra cost.  It depends on the trip location, the route, and what resources we can access in that area.

Some trails work for loop trips where you start and end at the same place.  Some are Point A to Point B, which require either spotting the group (at the beginning or end) or a driver to move the group's vehicle(s) from Point A to Point B while you're on the trail.

We'll help you find and stage solutions to make your trip work.

Most trails do not have "facilities," so hikers must learn to practice good hygiene and adhere to leave no trace disciplines while in the woods.  The backpacking package includes spades to dig and then cover a "cat hole" to properly bury the, um, result.

Depending on your trail and route, there may be campgrounds along the way that have modern facilities.

Yes.  Always.  Natural spring water, rivers, creeks, etc. -- the water sources on most backpacking trips and all river trips -- have plenty of microscopic things that will ruin your week (and maybe the next few weeks) if not properly filtered.  These packages include enough water filters for your group size so you can source clean water along the way.