Little Carp River Trail

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

Distance10.6mi
Elevation Gain939ft
Trailhead Elevation1,368ft
Top1,563ft
Elevation Min/Max1277/1563ft
Elevation Start/End1368/1368ft

Little Carp River Trail

Little Carp River Trail is a hiking trail in Gogebic County and Ontonagon County, Michigan. It is within Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. It is 10.6 miles long and begins at 1,368 feet altitude. The trail ends near the Backcountry campsite and the Little Carp Cabin chalet. This trail connects with the following: Correction Line Trail and North Mirror Lake Trail.

Little Carp River Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Falcon Guides)
Eric Hansen, revised by Rebecca Pelky
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"This is a poetic route. Elegant old-growth forest begins a few minutes from the trailhead and stays with you until the end of the outing. Three miles down the trail, the sights and sounds of the cascading Little Carp River join in, a near constant companion for the rest of the hike. Another water theme, Lake Superior’s shore, is available as a short side-trip. Begin your hike by walking north on the broad Pinkerton Trail as it drops ever so gradually to the bridge over Pinkerton Creek at Mile 1.0. A bench overlooks the stream, a shady scene of low bedrock ledges and gentle riffles in midsummer. About a mile later, after threading through memorable hemlock groves, the path reaches another bench. This one is on a bluff high above the swirling cascades of the Little Carp River. The trail swings northward and reaches a junction with the Lake Superior Trail at Mile 2.6. Turn right (east) following the Lake Superior Trail across the bridge over the Little Carp River. You’ll reach the junction with the Little Carp River Trail at Mile 2.7."

Little Carp River Trail Trip Reports

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7/30/2009
The Little Carp River Trail follows its namesake all the way from the South Boundary Road to the shores of Gitchigumi, otherwise called Lake Superior, but this is no lake . . . it's a sea. The trail is demanding on the feet, as there are many roots and, as you get closer to the shore, more rocks, but aside from a few scrambles up steep slopes, not too demanding. The bugs, always a concern during the summer in the UP, were minimal. We encountered a few worn out mosquitoes and deer flies but none of the swarms or biting black flies that can make this trek downright awful. Lots of day hikers and some backpackers making their way toward shore, but none of the camp sites along the trail were taken, so we had our pick of the lot. If you go for the cabins, choose the one at Section 17. It's much more private than the one at Greenstone Falls. Arriving at Gitchigumi we were surprised to find few people. Most of the group camps are just east of the mouth of the Little Carp River at its empties into the Sea of Superior, as I sometimes call it. Overall, a great short backpack (about 7 miles from the trailhead to the shore) along a pristine river with many waterfalls and great wading. Enjoy.
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5/1/2009
One of my all time favorite places. The Porkies is a very special place and this is one of the most enchanted trails. Beautiful old growth forest predominates.
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8/12/2008
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6/15/2006
We enjoyed this area, but we surprised at how slow the traveling was. We did the segment from the South Boundry Rd. parking lot to our cabin just past
Greenstone Falls and back several times and found it beautful, and fairly quick. The segment from Greenstone Falls to Trappers Falls seemed very long. Lots of steep, but quite short climbs, where your grabbing trees, or sliding down on your butt. Thank goodnes we had trekking poles, they really helped. Also many fallen trees across the trail to climb over. The scenery, the Little Carp River was just beautiful, and when we made it to Trappers falls, we had fun in the river. We saw just a few people along the way, but as the weekend neared, we saw more. The section 17 cabin we stay in was very cool, and far enough from the trail to keep peepers away.
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5/18/2004
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Little Carp River Trail Photos

Trail Information

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Nearby City
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Parks
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park
Local Contacts
USGS Carp River
Local Maps

Trail Log