Backpack to the Mirror Lake Cabins in the Porkies

Rate this Adventure 5.2 miles  - Loop Trail

Added by Matt Johnson

A wonderful hidden gem within the Porcupine Mountains. Take a day-hike or overnight into these fantastic cabins along the lake in the heart of Upper Peninsula Michigan. 

The trip to Mirror Lake begins at the Summit Peak Scenic Area. To extend your hike, start at the Lily Pond trail-head farther south on Summit Peak Road (5.3 miles to cabin). The initial trail towards the lake is the Beaver Creek trail (1.2 miles). The trail climbs down the peak slope into some lower valley and towards the Little Carp River. The trail was well managed and fairly dry, with select spots for mud and muck. The trail shortly connects to the Little Carp River Trail. To head to the lake, head north (take a right 1.5 miles). When you reach the signs for Mirror Lake campgrounds, continue straight. The signage designates the cabin locations on the other side of the sign, even though the signage says "No Camping for 5 miles". The first cabin, Mirror Lake 2, can be seen on the left farther into the woods. The second cabin (see photos) is Mirror Lake 4, and the final cabin is Mirror Lake 8. All cabins are along the Little Carp Trail north of the lake. 

The cabins are absolutely wonderful. Upon arrival, the cabin had a cast iron stove, mattresses in the bunks, a large table indoors, benches, a chair, drying lines, dry firewood, axes, saws, rakes, brooms, candles, pots, pans, coffee mugs, and a coffee kettle. Outside of the cabin, previous renters left even more firewood, and the cabin had a firering and another bench. Each cabin appeared to come with a rowing boat and orrs as well. The cabin stayed extremely warm at night with a fire going in the stove. While the lake is close by, check out the stream just north of Mirror Lake 8 for a cleaner water source (tastes fantastic!). The real secrets of the place were listed in the guest book. Apparently mosquitoes are a problem in the summer, along with mice if you're not careful with your food. 

When returning from the cabin, hike back towards the signage before the lake to get to the South Mirror Lake Trail (1.5 miles). If you took the previously-mentioned longer route in, take this trail all the way to its trailhead (an additional 1.0 mile) instead of turning onto the Summit Peak (1.0 mile) trail for easier access to your vehicle. The climb up the Summit Trail is a little steep, and slightly slippery in wet conditions. Upon arrival to the tower, you can see the slopes above Lake of the Clouds, the mouth of the Big Carp River, and Mirror Lake. 

Read More

Tags

Canoeing
Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Swimming Hole

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Ironwood, Michigan

Black River Harbor Pavilion

Overview The Black River Harbor Pavilion is located within the Black Harbor Recreation Area on Lake Superior in Michigans Upper Peninsula. The historic stone and wood pavilion was constructed by th...

Watersmeet, Michigan

Sylvania (Clark Lake) Campground

Overview Sylvania (Clark Lake) Campground is located seven miles southwest of Watersmeet, Michigan, adjacent to the 18,327 acre Sylvania Wilderness Area. This 48-site campground provides a home bas...

Watersmeet, Michigan

Clark Lake Pavilion

Overview The Clark Lake Pavilion, located within the Clark Lake day use area, sits in a beautiful north woods setting; at the north end of Clark Lake. The pavilion provides a large indoor gatherin...

Watersmeet, Michigan

Sylvania Wilderness Backcountry Camping

Overview The Sylvania Wilderness encompasses 18,327 acres of primitive lands and is part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Visitors can camp in 50 designated campsites within the Sylv...

Nearby Adventures

  • Backpack the Little Carp River Trail in the Porkies

    The Little Carp River Trailhead is located in the center of the Porcupine Mountain State Park, about 16 miles west of the park headquarters on S. Boundary Road. At the start of the trailhead, hikers can see Overlooked Falls. About a mile in one th...

    15.3 miles -720 ft gain

  • Hike Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains

    Hiking in the porcupine mountains could be a day trip or a week trip. From a short rim hike overlooking Lake of the Clouds to a three day back country camping excursion, there are endless amounts of options for planning a getaway to the Porcupine ...

    1.4 miles 334 ft gain

  • Backpack the Big Carp River and Lake Superior Trails in the Porkies

    We started our hiking in the afternoon at the Lake of the Clouds parking lot. Our original plan for the hike was to thru hike the Lake Superior Trail, however, due to muddy conditions and recent rain, we chose the Big Carp River Trail as a dryer r...

    18.2 miles

  • Hike the Escarpment Trail

    Upon arriving at Porcupine Mountains State Park (from Highway 107) in Ontonagon, Michigan, follow signs to the Lake of the Clouds Overlook parking lot. From this overlook you will get a taste of the many views of Lake of the Clouds that are to com...

    8.6 miles