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Topic: Looking for true wilderness camping, Backpacking and wilderness camping< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 11:44 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fellow camper/fisher/shooter/outdoors lover here hopping to get some information on backpacking/camping in the Midwest. Last year I spent a week camping at Mammoth Caves Kentucky and although the the caves were spectacular the camping sucked! Neighbors were so close you could hear them break wind at night. Long story short my friends and I crave a more wilderness camping experience. The problem I'm running into is all the backpacking places and class "D" sites I seem to find give you a great hiking and trails but at the end of the day you still camp in the same over crowded site. I'm looking for someplace that after hiking for a few mile you can set up camp were you like, pack up the next morning hike a few more miles and set up camp somewhere else completely different. Does anyone know of anything that will fill this need? Any information/key words/recommendations would be great. Thanx
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 11:55 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, What state are you looking to go to so we can narrow the search down a bit? If you give me that or  how many miles you are willing to travel from whatever city you are located in. There are all sorts of places out there in MO, MI, WI, MN, Southern IL, IN, and OH.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 12:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I live in the North Wast suburbs of Chicago, IL. I'm willing to drive 300 miles or so. My family has a cabin in the upper peninsula of Michigan close to Crystal Falls, I go up there once or twice a year so travailing to find good adventure is not a problem.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 12:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about the Porkies?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 2:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Your talking about the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan right. I just looked them up on the michigandnr website and this looks like it could be exactly what I was looking for. Have you backpacked there before? Any suggestions on where to start?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 2:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wouldn't call the Porkies, Wilderness Camping, wooded, but lots of trails, cabins, camping spots etc.....

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 2:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(2PawsRiver @ Mar. 07 2013, 2:41 pm)
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I wouldn't call the Porkies, Wilderness Camping, wooded, but lots of trails, cabins, camping spots etc.....

Hello 2PawsRiver,
Are there any places you've been that you could recommend?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

were you at the developed campground at Mammoth Cave or did you venture into the backcountry on the other side of the river?

I went into the backcountry for a few days on my visit and while the sites were still marked and relatively developed, it was quiet.  very quiet.  Saw only a handful of people the whole time we were out, most of whom were riding horses.  Two guys on bikes, and no other hikers.  The horse people were not camping.  Only the two bike people camped and they were at a different site altogether.  

I spent a few hours fishing in the Green River and never saw a soul.

I wouldn't exactly call that "Wilderness".  It gets a lot of use and you'll find trash (and trash cans).  But it's far better than the frontcountry.

Closest big "real" Wilderness would be the Boundary Waters/Quetico area.  It may take a couple days to really get out away from the other people, though, so you'll need to plan a longish trip to really get away.  But it's big.

I also know there are places to get away in eastern KY and spots in southern IN, IL, and OH that are very quiet and remote, though not "true" Wilderness.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 8:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you want as close to wilderness as you can get, go to an official wilderness area. Some have trails and many you can go off-trail and camp wherever you like (within LNT guidelines). Some wilderness areas are within parks (ie, Isle Royale).
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 8:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok so now that I know where you live here are some suggestions:

Porcupine Mountains MI
Trap Hills MI
Pictured Rocks MI
McCormick Wilderness MI
North Manitou Island MI
Craig Lake State Park MI


Superior Hiking Trail MN
Boundary  Waters MN  Border Route Trail or the Kek

Charles Deam Wilderness   IN

River to River Trail Southern IL

North Country Trail in either MI, MN or WI
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 07 2013, 8:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lazran @ Mar. 07 2013, 2:34 pm)
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Your talking about the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan right. I just looked them up on the michigandnr website and this looks like it could be exactly what I was looking for. Have you backpacked there before? Any suggestions on where to start?

A lot of people do the loop starting up at the Escaprment Lookout and go down the Big Carp River Trail to Lake Superior and then take the Lake Trail to the Little Carp River Trail and then back to the car on the North Mirror Lake trail.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 08 2013, 6:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Lazran @ Mar. 07 2013, 2:48 pm)
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(2PawsRiver @ Mar. 07 2013, 2:41 pm)
QUOTE
I wouldn't call the Porkies, Wilderness Camping, wooded, but lots of trails, cabins, camping spots etc.....

Hello 2PawsRiver,
Are there any places you've been that you could recommend?

Don't get me wrong, the Porkies are a great place, as are the other recommendations in Michigan, they're just not "Wilderness".

True Wilderness Hiking can be pretty hard to find in our area.  I think if you want true wilderness, you have to head west.  I tried to put a wilderness hike together in Wyoming.  Researched several areas, found the ones with the least amount of trails and regulations, then used topo maps to put a loop together.

It started with a section of the Continental Divide, then off trail as much as possible.  The first time, other then on the section of the Continental Divide, the only people we saw was a guided hunt.  They had hunted the section for 7 seasons and we were the first hikers they had seen.

Can not say the entire loop was Wilderness, but a good section of it was.  Did the same thing in Alaska, pretty remote, but the real section of wilderness was because of the weather and where they wound up having to drop us off.  Debated with the pilot for about 10 minutes before he agreed to leave us where we wanted.

I'm going to give it one more try, maybe next year.   A different section of Alaska, north into the Brooks Range.  Also looking at a route that will take me across the top of the Winds in Wyoming.  I think that is what it will take to actually experience Wilderness.

I think it is also up to the individual interpretation of Wilderness.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 08 2013, 7:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've traveled most of N. America and covered the entire lower 48 and hate to tell you this but in my experience, there is no true wilderness like you seem to want. It's way beyond your mileage but head west to the Rockies.

You can hike and camp for days on end and never see another person. The caveat is that if you get lost, you may never be found.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 08 2013, 8:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out the ice age trail.  A lot of it goes through National Forest land that allows wilderness camping and would be within your driving range.  You'll see very few people in the more northern sections.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 08 2013, 9:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I take it from the OPs topic starter that he is looking for places where you are camping in more remote type places with fewer people around. I don't think he is really looking for "true wilderness" where no one has ever gone before or there are not trails.

Here is a website of trhttp://www.bwca.cc/activities/hiking.htmlails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area:
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 08 2013, 10:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WOW, thank you everybody for so many suggestions.  I have quite a few location to bring to my group. I know we will find something from all thins info. Thanx again for the help and good luck on your adventures this year.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 08 2013, 11:34 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are lots of other places in lower MI you can go too. Not exactly wilderness but some nice trailss.

Hoist Lakes loop trails
Jordan River Pathway
Manistee River Trail
Waterloo Pickney Trail
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 09 2013, 10:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Trap Hills for sure, especially if you are near Crystal Falls regularly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Fox River Pathway starts just to the west of 12 Mile Beach Campground and winds south to the small town of Seney, Michigan.  With some exceptions, you can pretty much pick your campsite.  It's about 27 Miles long if you start at Kingston Lake SF campground, over 30 if you start at 12-Mile Beach like I did.  The walk gives you an appreciation for the areas logging history.  I don't think that trail is used very often.  I didn't encounter another person when I hiked it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 10 2013, 10:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The UP in Michigan has some nice spots, the Porkies and Pictured Rock especially. However, if you are not going west, you might as well push just a little bit further than what has been suggested and go to the Ozarks. The Buffalo River area has a lot of great hiking and backpacking and some real wilderness opportunities. Beyond the Buffalo, there are a ton of places that are wild and remote and easy to lose yourself in. For my money, it is also one of the more scenic areas "east of the west". It is not that much further than the UP.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 13 2013, 10:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(QCHIKER @ Mar. 07 2013, 8:30 pm)
QUOTE
Ok so now that I know where you live here are some suggestions:

Porcupine Mountains MI
Trap Hills MI
Pictured Rocks MI
McCormick Wilderness MI
North Manitou Island MI
Craig Lake State Park MI


Superior Hiking Trail MN
Boundary  Waters MN  Border Route Trail or the Kek

Charles Deam Wilderness   IN

River to River Trail Southern IL

North Country Trail in either MI, MN or WI

I would say the Border Route Trail or Kek in Minnesota are your best options and may provide the best option for the 'Wilderness' you are seeking.

Backpacker did rate one of the campsites on the Western edge of the Kek as the quietest in America. http://www.backpacker.com/may_200....32
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 6:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The McCormick Wilderness in the UP is a great place to get true backpacking experience.  There are few developed trails, so most of your hiking is true off-trail hiking.  The camping is wherever you can find a level spot to pitch your tent.  

There are basically two access points, the one I use is called the West Gate -- it's not easy to find, but once you do, you'll never forget it.

Have a safe trip!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 14 2013, 9:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For a more quite car camping experience in Illinois I recommend the following book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Bes....llinois

The most remote place I've ever camped would be in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, didn't see anyone for days on end. Usually it takes a day or two of backpacking to get away from the folks near the trail heads.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 18 2013, 9:52 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Guys,

Is pictured rocks truly a secluded get-away though...I am planning a trip in the fall and at first glance with permits, reservations, fees, designated camping areas, etc. it has almost turned me away from the jump.  I will be driving approx 10 hours from Columbus...worth the trip?
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2013, 12:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's definitely worth the trip from a hiking perspective, great scenery.  You won't be completely away from people if that's your main goal, but it's certainly not a freeway.  Depending on the time of year and day of the week you may only run into a couple people a day or dozens.  I've been in May and only saw 4 people over 4 nights.  In the summer I probably saw 4 people every couple hours (depends on the stretch you're hiking).  

There are certainly more secluded adventures in the UP (search for the McCormick Tract Wilderness or the NCT in the Trap Hills) but not many as scenic (only the Porcupine Mountains and Isle Royale come close).  Just my opinion.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 20 2013, 8:47 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GRIFF3061 @ Mar. 18 2013, 9:52 am)
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Guys,

Is pictured rocks truly a secluded get-away though...I am planning a trip in the fall and at first glance with permits, reservations, fees, designated camping areas, etc. it has almost turned me away from the jump.  I will be driving approx 10 hours from Columbus...worth the trip?

It is absolutely worth the trip!  I've done the Pictured Rocks trail several times.  My favorite visits have been in late May and early October.  A Columbus Day weekend trip is one of my favorite memories.  The leaves along the lakeshore were just starting to change and it made for beautiful scenery on the cliffs.  I stayed at Chapel Beach one night and there was only one other tent in all the sites.  The other people I saw were just day hikers.  I well remember that stay because when I woke up in the morning there were deep paw prints in the sand around my tent, and a 'present' had been deposited in the area where I'd done my cooking the night before.  I didn't see the wolf, but it was exciting to know that it had been there.

I would note that it was actually a few degrees warmer along the shore than just a short distance further inland, and the leaf change was also several days behind.  Start a discussion thread on Pictured Rocks and I'm sure that lot's of people will pitch in with trip planning advice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 4:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

thanks gimp...good info
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 24 2013, 4:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MicStaff @ Mar. 13 2013, 10:26 am)
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Backpacker did rate one of the campsites on the Western edge of the Kek as the quietest in America.

My wife, sister and I camped for a couple of nights just off the Kek on Becoosin Lake and the lack of ambient noise was unsettling. It was late enough in the year that there were no bugs. We were a few miles away from any canoe campsites and there was no wind. While we were sitting quietly in our camp after dinner, a bear that had fallen asleep in a tree about 40 yards from us fell out of the tree. We almost collectively jumped out of our skin. Although we saw a few canoeists off in the distance and ran across one other group of backpackers, I would have to say that BWCA had more of a wilderness feel than anywhere I have ever camped --including out west. I should say, however, that the places I have backpacked out west were pretty popular and therefore not representative of the solitude one could find in the Rockies.

Also...I have been to the Trap Hills on long day hikes four times and not seen another person.

PRNL: crowded for a reason. It is magnificent!
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 08 2013, 12:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

For true solitude try PRNL in winter on snowshoes!

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