Tracking the Northern Lights takes patience, persistence, and a whole lot of luck — but there’s also tons of apps for that. And around the Spring Equinox (March 20), your chances of catching a light show are heightened. So, now that you know (roughly) how and when to find them, all you need’s a spot to watch from.
Sugarloaf Mountain is perfect for a short, sweet hike with some elevation. Take the ‘easy’ route and you’ll be a swift 15 minutes from the top, which offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior, and pretty much the rest of Marquette. Trailhead parking is 7 miles up 550 on your right. All trails are clearly and conveniently marked from parking lot.
Probably the most popular beach in Marquette’s city limits — McCarty’s Cove is as convenient as it is scenic — With views of the Superior horizon, the Harbor Lighthouse, Picnic Rocks, and Presque Isle Park. If you’re looking for the best vantage point of the Auroras but don’t want to put on your hiking boots, you can’t go wrong with McCarty’s.
If you’re looking for accessible, extensive beachfront further from city light pollution, you’ve found it. Located 8 miles North of downtown Marquette, just hop on County Road 550 and the signage will read on your right. If you wanna get even further from city and sand, just take the trails along the lakeshore into more forested, secluded outcroppings. Now all you need is a big beach blanket and some friends to share in the view and you’re set.
Little Presque Isle Beach
With bedrocks dating back to 2.3 billion years, Little Presque Isle is not only one of three places in Michigan to see some of the oldest exposed formations, but it’s also an incredible place to watch the Northern Lights. If you plan to go out to the Isle (at your own risk) rather than behold from the beach, we recommend you trek out before sunset and are well-equipped for your trip (i.e., water, safety gear, etc.). Head north up Big Bay Road for about 20 minutes, parking will be on the right.