Photo by Rachel Kramer via Flickr
Photo by Rachel Kramer via Flickr

Sugarloaf Mountain has skyrocketed in popularity as a tourist destination, forcing local commissioners to designate more of the land for parking.

MARQUETTE, MI — A popular lookout that offers a pleasing view of Lake Superior has become too popular: Sugarloaf Mountain in the Upper Peninsula needs more parking.

Marquette County commissioners agreed last week  to spend $331,000 for more parking space, The Mining Journal reported

Sugarloaf Mountain is about 6 miles north of downtown Marquette. More than 60,000 people took the short hike to the top of the mountain last year.

“They averaged around 10,000 visitors in the past through the ‘60s, ’70s, ’80s, but once this became a very popular tourist attraction, 2018 saw 47,620 visitors just in that year and in 2019 saw over 60,000 visitors,” commissioner Johnny Depetro said.

The money will come from the county’s forestry fund, which is used for parks and recreation projects, board chairman Gerald Corkin said.

Although some Michiganders may lament the fact that a portion of the scenery will be sacrificed for parking, The Marquette County commissioners agreed that it was a necessary move to protect visitors’ safety. 

Currently, many visitors must park across CR 550, and Depetro cited dangers to public safety like industrial trucking traffic, commercial traffic and blind spots caused by the curvature of the road. 

As such, the board has deemed the project “high priority” amidst economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. They’re preparing to take immediate action so Michiganders can safely enjoy the sweet lookout once the state gives the all-clear on summer travel.

Sugarloaf Mountain
sits right on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

With pet-friendly trails of varying difficulties and stunning forest and lake views, Sugarloaf Mountain is a prime destination to take the family for a weekend trip or a seasoned group of hiking buddies for an unparalleled ascent. 

SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Michigan Stargazing: The Perfect Quarantine Activity provides a glimpse into what you can expect on the climb to the top and the monuments and observation decks you can’t miss while visiting this Pure Michigan peak. 

And if you schedule your trip after the parking lot improvement project has wrapped up, you can count on a safer and more convenient experience for your whole crew.