33 / 31
      30 / 20
      37 / 17

      Seven Wonders of the UP: The Lake of the Clouds

      Once you park the car, it's only a few short steps to the breathtaking view that draws 200,000 people into the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park each year. "It's amazing," said Mike Pagel from Menasha, Wisconsin. "It's amazing. You don't realize how high up you are. It's just a beautiful sight." A pan of the valley shows miles of trees, the majority of them sugar maples, with a handful of other prominent varieties. To the east, there's Lake of the Clouds, a romantic name for a place that shimmers when the sun hits it, and 15-foot deep waters that offer up an abundance of small mouth bass. Ironically, it was called Carp Lake until the 1930s, but then it was changed to make the site sound more attractive. "It's about limitless what you can see and hear up here," said Park Administrator, Robert Sprague. "I'd heard moose down in the valley from up here. Every once in a while you see a black bear walking below. You'll hear the rocks down there moving and you look down, and there'll be a black bear walking." To the west, on a clear day, you can see Copper Peak, some 17 miles away. Since the park is a state wilderness area, much of the 60,000 acres is remote; you can only get there on hiking trails. The overlook allows people to see two-thirds of the park they might not ever see. That is why the park built a handicap-accessible boardwalk in 2005 and 2009 to give the the elderly and disabled a choice over the 300-foot steep hike to the top.