Discover the 5 Most Remote Spots in Michigan and How to Safely Get There

Written by Marisa Higgins
Published: October 29, 2023
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Michigan, often called the Great Lakes State, has many beautiful destinations. The state’s name is derived from an Indian word, Michigama, which translates to “great lake” or “large lake.” Seeing as Michigan is heavily associated with the surrounding Great Lakes, the state certainly has remarkable coastlines. However, Michigan has more to offer than just the famous Great Lakes. This northern state is also home to some pretty stellar remote spots. Let’s discover the five most remote spots in Michigan, along with how to get there safely.

Discover the 5 most remote spots in the state of Michigan.

5. Keweenaw Peninsula 

Copper Harbor, Michigan, 2015, Architecture, Autumn

Copper Harbor is located at the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan’s UP.

©iStock.com/nameinfame

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, also called the UP, is no stranger to breathtaking remote locations. Keweenaw Peninsula is certainly one of those lovely remote locations that, unless you’re a local, you might not know about. It’s a great location for a weekend away. The shores of Lake Superior provide several water activities to visitors of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Even more, the peninsula also offers local history, which you can enjoy by stopping by the Keweenaw National Historical Park. 

In addition to the historic park, you can check out the area’s eight lighthouses, the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, or the History of Hockey Museum. Keweenaw Peninsula is home to eleven communities. These communities each offer a distinct flavor, some of which are more “big city” while others are “small-town charm.” No matter your preference, you can steal away to one of these little towns if you tire of the remoteness of lakeside adventures and forest quests. 

How to Get There

If you’re arriving by car, the best way to get to Keweenaw Peninsula is via US-41 or M-26. The Keweenaw Peninsula, though part of Michigan, is situated right next to the Wisconsin border, which means that the area can be easily accessed by land through Illinois and Wisconsin—or Michigan by trekking across the Mackinac Bridge. 

4. Kitch-iti-kipi 

Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan's largest freshwater spring.

Kitch-iti-kipi has gorgeous views. From the observation deck, you can peer deep below the surface.

©Footsore Fotography/Shutterstock.com

You can find Kitch-iti-kipi near the Central Upper Peninsula in Michigan. Kitch-iti-kipi, or the “Big Spring,” was nicknamed the “Mirror of Heaven” by the Ojibwe tribe. One of the largest natural, freshwater springs in Michigan, the water source is approximately 40 feet deep and about 200 feet across. Although there are no swimming or water activities permitted, the views alone make Kitch-iti-kipi worth visiting. The best part about visiting Kitch-iti-kipi is the self-propelled observation deck-raft, giving you stellar views of the water below.

How to Get There

Kitch-iti-kipi is located near the coastal town of Manistique and sits right off Indian Lake. To visit Kitch-iti-kipi, you will need to obtain a Michigan Recreation Passport from within Palms Book State Park.

3. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Summit Peak Tower

Porcupine

Mountains Wilderness State Park has acres upon acres of forests available for exploring.

©PQK/Shutterstock.com

First and foremost, this state park did not receive its name from its porcupine population. Instead, the park was named for the outline of the trees, which resemble the quills of a porcupine. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, located in the UP, is 60,000 acres of lush forests, miles of rivers and streams, and gushing waterfalls. With 35,000 acres of forests and 90 miles of hiking trails, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is one of the Midwest’s best state parks. 

Also dubbed the ‘Porkies,’ this gorgeous state park is exceptionally remote and secluded. Only 3% of Michigan’s population lives in the UP, leaving most of the area untamed and up for discovery and exploration. The best view can be found on the shores of Lake of the Clouds, which is a lovely body of water surrounded by forests and rolling hills. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is also home to nearly 15 waterfalls, hiking trails, and interesting tales of copper mining history.

How to Get There

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is located on the northwestern portion of the UP. The park is best accessed by car via US Highway 41. Visiting Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park will definitely make you feel like you’re in a remote spot in Michigan.

2. Isle Royale National Park

Isle Royale National Park

You can explore one of the island’s three lighthouses by canoe or paddleboard.

©Steven Schremp/Shutterstock.com

Isle Royale National Park is a remote island archipelago located in the northwestern area of Lake Superior. The national park was designated as wilderness on October 20, 1976. In particular, this wilderness stretches to 132,018 acres of land in total across the islands. Based on the topography of the islands, it is thought that nearly two miles of ice once pressed on top of the earth, shaping the islands. This same is thought to have shaped Lake Superior. 

Once you arrive at the islands, you can hike, visit one of the islands’ three lighthouses, or paddle between the various islands. You might also catch a moose wading in the water. Fun fact: moose are considered the “hippos of the north country.” Why not hang out with a moose while visiting one of the most remote spots in Michigan?

How to Get There

This national park is only accessible via boat or seaplane. Once you arrive at an island, you can canoe, kayak, or walk throughout the park’s interior. 

1. Beaver Island

Beaver Island, in Lake Michigan

Since the island is only accessible by boat or plane, many of the beaches are untouched.

©Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock.com

Beaver Island, also known as ‘America’s Emerald Isle,’ is a beautiful island off the southwest side of Michigan’s UP. The most remote spot in Michigan is undoubtedly Beaver Island as it is only accessible via boat or plane. Beaver Island is approximately 13 miles long and five miles wide with a total of 54 square miles in area. You can certainly explore the island in one day, but since there is extra planning to reach the island, you should definitely make a trip to it.  

Beaver Island is one of the largest Michigan islands, and it offers several activities for nature lovers. The island has approximately 600 people who call the island home year-round, many of whom are of Irish descent. Once on the island, you can visit museums, see the Beaver Head Lighthouse, paddle the Beaver Island Water Trail, or hike Beaver Island’s trails. This adorable remote island has no shortage of experiences, and it is no doubt, the best remote spit in Michigan.

How to Get There

As mentioned above, the only way to get to Beaver Island is via boat or plane. The Beaver Island Boat Company offers ferry services to the island. By making a reservation, you can ensure that your car can be transported to the island. There are also a few airlines that charter flights from Charlevoix Airport to Beaver Island. Once you arrive on the island, you can get around via bike or rental car. 

Visiting Remote Spots in Michigan

Michigan offers an abundance of scenic routes, sand-covered lake shores, and hundreds of beautiful outdoor experiences. Almost entirely surrounded by water, the state of Michigan is also home to more than 10,000 lakes, hundreds of acres of forest, and a variety of small towns with charm and culture. Whether you want a cozy small town, a bustling big city, or a remote spot off the coast, Michigan has a place for you to explore. These five most remote spots in Michigan will surely give you the experience of natural wonders, breathtaking views, and the perfect escape. 

Summary of the 5 Most Remote Spots in Michigan

RankRemote LocationCoordinate
1Beaver Island45.6660782,-85.5544216
2Isle Royale National Park48.01095,-88.82842
3Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park46.78106,-89.68071
4Kitch-iti-kipi 46.0041605,-86.3819411
5Keweenaw Peninsula47.26177978515625,-88.32262420654297

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Laurent Fady/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Dr. Marisa Higgins is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on travel, places to visit, and fun activities. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and French, a Master of Arts in English, and a Ph.D. in English, and she's spent the past decade teaching, writing, and researching. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her husband, and their Beagle-Chihuahua, Rumi, and cat, Rory.

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