Porcupine Mountains

For the past six years I have been documenting the Porcupine Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This personal project is influenced by my childhood due to my father owning a cottage in Northern Wisconsin.  When we would visit the cottage he would take my brother and I on day trips to see the waterfalls in "The Porkies."  As we got older my brother and I enjoyed camping at the park as well.  Throughout adulthood "The Porkies" have acted as conduit allowing me to learn and experience different aspects about the parks geology, topography, and forest habitat.

The Porcupine Mountains are located in the North Western corner of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The geological rock formation known as Nonesuch Shale is located within the Presque Isle area of The Porkies. This rock is specific to the Proterozoic eon which has an estimated age of approximately 1.1 billion years old. The Nonesuch Shale is a smaller portion of what makes up the Canadian Shield or the Laurentian Plateau. The Laurentian Plateau is the result of a long history of volcanic activity which spans some three million square miles and approximately covers half of Canada stretching into the Great Lakes region. It is made up of different igneous rock creating the geological core for the North American continent. Today it is known for its rich mineral deposits such as nickel, silver, gold, and copper.

The park spans 59,000 acres and was once used for copper mining in the 19th century. In 1945 the Porcupine Mountains was established as a state park to protect 31,000 acres of old growth forest.

© Nate Ortiz Photography

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