Motorcycle touring along Lake Superior.
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One of Marquette's 77 waterfalls!
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Mountain bikers on Marquette's south trails
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A Kayaker plunges down Dead River Falls
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Carp River Falls
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Destination Overview

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Marquette County Welcomes You!

Marquette County is the destination of choice for visitors wanting to have it all in one spot. Marquette has every type of recreation available for any season. Our Arts & Culture and Museums tell the story of our mining history and our diverse restaurants are enough to entice visitors into our historic downtowns and commercial districts.  WE HAVE IT ALL!

Destination Overview

Marquette County is located on the south shore of Lake Superior in the iron-ore rich north-central region of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Named after the French Jesuit missionary and explorer, Jacques Marquette, the area is known for its friendly people, unrivaled scenic beauty and  rich heritage centered around 160-plus years of iron mining, forestry and shipping.  Over 22% of the iron mined in North America on an annual basis comes out of the ground from the historic Marquette Iron Range.

The city of Marquette  was recently named one of the Top Ten Distinctive Destinations by the National Tust for Historic Preservation and has received numerous awards for its quality of life including being named one of the Top 10 Winter Family Getaways, Top 10 Great Places for Retired Winter Sports Nuts, Top 10 Places to Live and Ride , and Top 10 for Hunting & Fishing in Outdoor Life Magazine. Marquette is also home to Northern Michigan University and is one of 16 Olympic Training Sites.

Big Bay is a small town about 28 miles from Marquette and has a lot to offer to tourists, campers, fisherman & hunters.  One of Big Bay’s historical aspects is the movie “Anatomy of a Murder.”  You can visit the locations that you recognize from the movie and the place where the murder took place.

If you are a hiker or shutterbug, enjoy the view from Thomas Rock Scenic Overlook or watch the sunset from Black Rocks Point. Bring your camera and get a few pictures of our local wildlife.

Ishpeming‘s history is rooted in the discovery of Iron Ore in the 1840’s.  In 1846, an Indian named Madji-Gesick led explorer, Philo Everett, to a shining mountain.  What Everett found was a mountain of ore measuring 180 feet high and 1,000 feet wide.  This historic spot was named Jasper Knob–known today as the World’s Largest Gemstone.  Up until 1862, this area was referred to as The Lake Superior Location, but the settlers saw it fit to give the City an official name.  Translating the Chippewa Indian name for “on the summit”, the settlers gave the name of Ishpeming to the newly formed City.  The name proved to be fitting for a City that is situated upon the dividing ridge between the waters of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan and 850 feet above Lake Superior.

The discovery of iron ore by an exploratory mining party near the shore of Teal Lake in 1844 launched the birth of the City of Negaunee. Native Americans who had long resided in and traversed the area led the explorers to the massive outcropping of ore. Their heritage lives on in the name of Negaunee, which means “pioneer” in Chippewa.  The Jackson Mine was established in 1845 in Negaunee to mine the iron ore which would be shipped to steel making plants. The first iron forge in the Lake Superior region was established soon after in Negaunee as well.  Enjoy live performances at our historic Vista Theatre. Travel back in time at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum and the Negaunee Historical Museum. Marvel at the fireworks over beautiful Teal Lake during the mid-winter Heikki Lunta Winterfest and mid-summer Pioneer Days. Embrace the outdoors throughout the seasons with swimming, boating, windsurfing, fishing, skiing, luging, and ice skating.  Join with visitors from across the nation, and the world, to watch the thrilling international ski jumping competition at Suicide Hill and Lucy Run; the fast-paced start of the annual Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic; and the action-packed Negaunee Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Michigamme is nestled on an inlet on the northwest shore of seven-mile-long Lake Michigamme.  This old mining village, settled in 1872, had a population of 1,000 and two sizable hotels when several mines operated in the vicinity. (It’s pronounced “MICH-i-GAH-me.”) The first and biggest, the Michigamme Mine, is just northeast of the village across Highway 41 on the western slope of Mt. Shasta behind the Mt. Shasta Lodge. The mine produced almost a million tons of iron ore until it shut down in 1900. Although the area around the mine is fenced off, rock-hounds still like to sneak in and sift through the waste rock surrounding the mine shafts looking for once-plentiful “Black Diamonds,” shiny garnets which are now hard to find.