Wintry storm closes roads at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Wintry weather over the past two days has felled trees, blocking trail and road access to some popular visitor attractions at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western Upper Peninsula.

“Over the past two days, the higher elevations in the park have received up to an inch of ice, covered by 2-4 inches of snow,” said Bob Wild, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources interpreter at the park. “The trees are thickly coated and this much ice really adds a lot of weight and stress to the trees, causing many to topple.”

Late Thursday, park staff closed the roads to Lake of the Clouds and Summit Peak because of downed and falling trees. These sections of the park, in the northeast and north of the South Boundary Road were the most heavily impacted.

“Our crews have been out clearing downed trees, but the wind continues to blow more down,” Wild said. “

Highway 107, which leads to Lake of the Clouds and the road to Summit Peak remain closed. The South Boundary Road is open.

“We will have a crew working over the weekend to clear roadways and begin evaluating the trails, bridges, and other structures throughout the park,” said Jeff Gaertner, park supervisor. “More crews will be out early next week to evaluate the condition of the trails at the park.”

DNR officials were urging park visitors to remain aware of the possibility of falling branches or trees. Visitors are also reminded to observe the park road closures.

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