One of the most beautiful natural phenomena to witness is viewing the aurora borealis, more commonly known as the northern lights.
Colorful greens, reds, pinks, and oranges wisp over the horizon and illuminate the skies, and this natural wonder of the world can be seen right here in Michigan. You don’t need a plane ticket or a telescope, just a set of boots and a camera. So, here are five awesome Northern Lights lookouts near Marquette, MI for you to explore!
1. Harlow Lake
A small inland lake nestled alongside County Road 550 near Marquette, Harlow features a few rocky cliffs and outcroppings along its shoreline. On especially clear nights, take a seat atop one of these rocks and gaze directly up. Due to its location away from the city lights of Marquette and it being sheltered by the surrounding Huron Mountain peaks such as Sugarloaf and Hogsback, the incredibly dark backdrop contrasts beautifully with the colors in the sky. Only a 10 minute drive from Marquette city limits, Harlow Lake is a must-hit lookout!
2. Au Train Beach
One of greatest beaches on Lake Superior’s southern shore, Au Train Beach in Au Train is one of the very best places to watch the dazzling Northern Lights in Michigan. About a twenty-five minute drive from Marquette, Au Train beach provides an expansive view of Lake Superior’s horizon as well as the Marquette skyline. The sheer vastness of horizon line and water frontage makes Au Train Beach surreal. On a clear winter night, constellations and bright stars poke through the colorful auroras as they flash in the sky.
3. Hogsback Mountain
It’s easy to see why Hogsback Mountain makes the list. The peak is the highest elevation that is readily accessible in Marquette. Standing at about 1,200 feet, Hogsback gives you the Northern Lights view you’ve been looking for. With a full view of Lake Superior, Marquette, and miles of scenic forests as far as the eye can see, the sky at night atop Hogsback practically engulfs you. If a half hour hike to the top doesn’t scare you away, this is the lookout worth exploring.
4. McCarty’s Cove
One of the premier beach destinations in Marquette’s city limits, McCarty’s Cove offers a little bit of everything in one convenient lookout. Close proximity to everything in Marquette makes this lookout extremely easy to get to and find. Not to mention a spectacular view of the Superior horizon, the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse, Picnic Rocks and Presque Isle Park. If you’re looking for the best vantage point of the Aurora Borealis but don’t want to put on your hiking boots, you can’t go wrong at McCarty’s Cove!
5. Little Presque Isle
Many travelers and tourists to the Marquette area know quite a bit about Presque Isle Park and its gorgeous trail network and scenic lookouts, but its sister destination, Little Presque Isle, is where to go in the winter months to scope out the Northern Lights. Drive up County Road 550 about fifteen minutes and the scenic trail that heads out to this magnificent little peninsula will be well marked on Superior’s coastline. It may have to be cold to navigate this lookout in order to cross over an ice bridge and onto the actual Little Presque peninsula. Once on the peninsula, walk to the back cliffs that jut out into Superior’s waters. It is on these cliffs that an expansive view of Lake Superior and the dark night sky really come to life. Be sure to bundle up and prepare yourself to be blown away. The colors of the Northern Lights from this location are hard to top!