About the Lake Gogebic, Michigan Area

Lake Gogebic lies between two counties, Gogebic County and Ontonagon County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Lake Gogebic area has long been known for the wide variety of recreational opporunities it has to offer vacation visitors: snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, skiing, biking, sightseeing and camping are just a few of the activites that visitors can enjoy.  Meanwhile, the surrounding forests, lakes, and river offer unmatched natural beauty. Lake Gogebic, the largest inland lake in the Upper Peninsula, and Lake Superior, the most beautiful of the Great Lakes, offer spectacular views from their shorelines.


  • Minneapolis Area – 5 hours
  • Milwaukee – 5 hours
  • Fox River Valley – 3 hours
  • Duluth – Superior – 2 hours
  • Chicago Area – 6 1/2 hours
  • Wausau – 2 hours
  • Detroit – 9 1/2 hours
  • Marquette – 2 1/2 hours

Gogebic County is Michigan’s Western Gateway. There are twelve hundred miles of rivers and streams, over 300 inland lakes and miles of woods and wilderness. It offers thrills for anglers, fun for swimmers and boating enthusiasts, quiet adventures for canoeists, excitement for the hunter and enchanting scenery for everyone. It’s also the ski capital of the Midwest with four ski areas in Michigan and one in near by Wisconsin.

Gogebic means “where trout rising make small rings upon the surface.” Located on the western end on the Upper Peninsula, Gogebic County is the place for outdoor recreation. This is home to Big Snow Country. Also calling Gogebic home are 100 waterfalls, the Sylvania Wilderness, Cisco Chain of Lakes, Lake Gogebic, Black River National Scenic Byway, Copper Peak, Ottawa National Forest, and Lake Superior.

The lakes are almost as numerous as waterfalls! Lake Gogebic is the U.P.’s largest inland lake, known for walleye, bass and jumbo perch. Lake Gogebic, the U.P’s largest lake, is well known for its walleye, bass and jumbo perch fishing. Spring is a great time for angling where the catch includes rainbow and steelhead trout. The Cisco Chain of lakes is one of the longest chains in the world with 271 miles of beautiful shoreline. The Cisco Chain boasts many state records for fish. Our lakes have many first-class resorts and are open year-round.

Waterfalls are spectacular whatever the season! In winter, they are partially frozen; spring, they are thunderous with the runoff of melting snow; in summer, the mist rises upward in the bright sunlight and in fall is outlined with nature’s colors. The Black River National Scenic Byway features five waterfalls with varying access and the only harbor operated by the USDA Forest Service in the lower 48 states. Potawatomi Falls is barrier free, Great Conglomerate has a natural access. The choices are ample and yours for the making.

Over 80 percent of Gogebic County’s acreage is within the boundaries of the Ottawa National Forest, and most of the land is open to the public. The Ottawa National Forest encompasses over 953,000 acres of unspoiled hardwood forests. It’s a great place for adventure. Camping, hiking, biking and walking trails to scenic overlooks are among some of the activities enjoyed there.

The warm days and cool nights of the summer season afford unparalleled recreational experiences to outdoor enthusiasts as well as families. In Gogebic County one can experience the famous Lake Superior sunsets, as well as the timeless visual sensations of the Northern Lights, which dance most brilliantly in our northern skies. Our area hosts over a million acres of unspoiled Northwoods accented by over 50 breathtaking waterfalls.

Big Snow Country is the snow belt of the Midwest, receiving as much as 300 inches of lake effect snowfall per year. With hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails through forests, to waterfalls, across rivers and lakes – all with the convenience of driving your sled to your door (many accommodations have direct trail access). Three ski resorts call Big Snow Country home as well. Long runs, plenty of fresh snow, and unique lodging makes this the best skiing choice within a day’s drive. Winter is a terrible thing to waste – come share it with us.

Copper Peak is the only International Sky Flying facility in the Western Hemisphere and is home to the world’s largest ski slide. From the top, the view is spectacular and provides the highest 360 degree unobstructed panoramic vista in the Midwest. Copper Peak is a registered Michigan Historic site and is a participating member of the Western Upper Peninsula Heritage Trail Network.

The history of Gogebic County alive in the many museums in Ironwood and Wakefield The historic restored Ironwood Theater has numerous live performances. Participate in one of the many festivals. We offer county fairs and 4th of July celebrations.


Ontonagon County was organized in 1843 by James K. Paul. Ontonagon is the oldest permanent settlement on the south shore of Lake Superior. The port was used extensively by the copper and silver mining industries until the turn of the century. The famous Ontonagon Copper Boulder was removed by James K. Paul and is now at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

The lumbering industry was a major employer of in the early 1900’s with the Diamond Match Company located at Ontonagon being one of the more well known. The Lewis Genson Company of Ewen became one of the biggest users of hardwood in Ontonagon County. During that time, Ontonagon County’s population was more then 12,000.

The county is located in the northwestern Upper Peninsula on the shore of Lake Superior at the foot of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This combination of water and mountains environment creates spectacular summer overlooks, fantastic fall colors, abundant winter snowfall and great spring fishing. All four seasons of recreation are awesome in Ontonagon County!

Ontonagon is a paradise for nature lovers and offers opportunities for hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. More than 90 percent of the county is forested. Parts of the Ottawa National Forest take up large chunks of the country’s acreage, and other sections go to make up the Copper Country State Forest. About half of Lake Gogebic also lies in Ontonagon County, with the other half in Gogebic County.

History comes alive at Old Victoria Restoration Site! Old Victoria, an early mining settlement brought back to life through restoration. Some of the county attractions include Ontonagon County’s courthouse, lighthouse and swing bridge are on the National Register of Historic Places. The boardwalk along the Ontonagon River is a great place to view the bridge and lighthouse. Visit the museum in Ontonagon for a look into the past. Additional places to visit are Ewen Load of Logs, Bond Falls Flowage, Agate Falls and the Ontonagon Harbor, Lighthouse and Marina. It also has two 9 hole golf courses, the Big Spruce in Bruce Crossing and the Ontonagon Golf Course in Ontonagon with daily and seasonal memberships.

The gem of the outdoors in the Upper Peninsula is the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. This park was created in 1945 with 46,000 acres of Michigan’s last virgin hardwoods forest. Today, 50-plus years later, the now 60,000-acre park still features the very reason it was saved in the beginning, the virgin forest. Highlights of the park are many. Stop in the Visitors Center to acquaint yourself with the area; the slide show is a must-see.

Lake of the Clouds is arguably the most scenic place in Michigan. Summit Peak Observation Tower offers an expansive view of the virgin forest and Lake Superior. The Presque Isle River cascades over intricate shale formations with one of the largest waterfalls in the state. Miles of sandy beach may be found in Union Bay, great for swimming and rock hounding. A self-guided historical trail is featured at Union Mine Scenic Trail. Call 1-906-885-5275 for more information on Michigan’s premier state park.

Lake Superior makes a powerful statement wherever she brushes up against the land, and Ontonagon County is no exception. During the winter the lake is responsible not only for the abundance of powdery whiteness which blankets the area, but also offers mild temperatures near the lake as compared to just a few miles inland. As a matter of fact, gardens and fruit trees grow well along the shores of Superior. During the summer, visitors can wander Superior’s beaches in search of agates or simply rest and gaze across her rough expanse to glorious red and orange sunsets.

Waterfalls abound! Big, small and famous, take your pick. Two of the most notable are Bond and Agate falls. Bond Falls has been the back drop for national ad campaigns for sport utility vehicles as well as for tourist snapshots. These falls are here for you to see just off Highway M-28 and US-45.

With abundant snowfall, skiing and snowmobiling take precedence in winter. The ski area at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is second to none. Situated on the shore of Lake Superior, the “Porkies” boast the highest vertical drop in Michigan or Wisconsin. Plentiful snowfall makes for great snowmobiling as well. Trails lead from the door of many resorts to some of the most scenic terrain the state has to offer. Hundreds of miles of well-groomed trails await you.