Weekend Warrior in the Wolverine State

Connor McNeely, 22, took weekending to a new level with his latest trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Looking for an adventure to tell all your coworkers on Monday? Read on to learn how to follow in his footsteps and explore the rugged beauty that is Michigan in autumn.

The answers below have been edited for space.

Pictured Rocks Lakeshore. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

Pictured Rocks Lakeshore. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

NS: When did you go, and how long was your trip? 

CM: I traveled to the Michigan's Upper Peninsula Saturday, Nov. 5 until Sunday, Nov. 6. I left at 6 a.m. Saturday and arrived early afternoon. I left Sunday early afternoon and arrived home around 9:30 p.m. The drive was about 6 hours.

NS: Where did you go?

CM: Last week I went to Munising and visited Munising Falls, Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, Miners Falls and Miners Castle beach. I continued an hour west to Marquette and watched the sunset at Black Rocks. Sunday, I visited Dead River Falls.

Munising Falls. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

Munising Falls. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

NS: Did you go alone or with someone else?

CM: The Munising/Marquette weekend trip I did with just my girlfriend.

NS: Were you camping?

CM: I did not camp. Last week my girlfriend and I stayed at a Holiday Inn in Marquette for the one night.

NS: Was this your first time going to these destinations?

CM: Besides Black Rocks this past weekend, yes, I was a first timer at each of these spots.

NS: If you've done similar trips in the summer, how does going in the fall compare?

CM: We got extremely lucky with warm weather for the first week of November. What was nice about visiting in the fall was the abundance of colors in the leaves, fallen or not. It even made the drive pretty and on some of the hikes to the destinations, the cool temperature made a difference.

Sunset at Black Rocks. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

Sunset at Black Rocks. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

NS: What was your favorite part of the trip?

CM: My favorite spot going in was Black Rocks. But after my favorite part was Dead River Falls. There are so many waterfalls and each one gets bigger along the hike until you're all the way up a beautifully colored mountain.

NS: Any advice for people looking to take a trip up north this time of year?

CM: Pack for any type of weather. It's always best to be prepared than pissed! And with a simple web search of any destination, there will be helpful information from government sponsored sites or bloggers that have visited  regarding how to find the trails, where to park, how high the falls are, etc.

 Dead River Falls. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

 Dead River Falls. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

NS: What made you decide to do this all in a weekend, and do you think it was enough time to make the drive worth it?

CM: I did a weekend trip because I loved it so much the first time I went that I wanted to see and explore some new and some of the same spots before it got too cold. It was absolutely worth the drive to do in one weekend. I would recommend it and love to do it again.

Driving through Michigan. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely

Driving through Michigan. Photo Courtesy of Connor McNeely