Porcupine Mountains, MI

Located on the shore of Lake Superior in western Upper Michigan, this park has 35,000 acres of unlogged sugar maple and hemlock forest, and has been a focus of Lee Frelich’s Research in disturbance ecology since 1981. Forests in all stages of succession and stand development are present in one of the few landscape-scale forest remnants left in the eastern U.S.


Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan, contains 35,000 acres of old growth hemlock and sugar maple forests. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Giant sugar maple near Presque Isle River.

Giant sugar maple near Presque Isle River. Photo: John Knuerr.

Presque Isle River rapids.

Presque Isle River rapids. Photo: Jörgen Sjögren.

Swedish moss expert Jörgen Sjögren.

Swedish moss expert, Jörgen Sjögren, inspecting Anomodom moss on a maple trunk. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Moss-covered basswood trunk.

Moss-covered basswood trunk. Photo: John Knuerr.

Hemlock seedling browsed by deer.

Hemlock seedling browsed by deer. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Three hundred year old white pines on Overlook Trail.

Three hundred year old white pines on Overlook Trail. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Yellow birch saplings

Yellow birch saplings enter a gap caused by death of three ancient hemlocks. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Multi-age hemlock forest

Multi-age hemlock forest, trees from 80 to 550 years old. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Multi-age forest of mixed maple and hemlock

Multi-age forest of mixed maple and hemlock. Photo: Lee Frelich.

Ancient hemlock forest

Ancient hemlock forest, Pinkerton Creek. Photo: John Knuerr.