The Upper Peninsula of Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is one of the most recognizable geographic regions in all of North America. However, very few people across the United States know very much about the Upper Peninsula (a.k.a. The U.P.).

Upper Peninsula Map

Many people in the United States don’t realize there is an Upper and Lower Peninsula in Michigan and that they actually don’t connect at any single point. They are connected only by the 5-mile long Mackinac Bridge, which spans across the Mackinac Straits of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. After looking at a United States map, many people think that the Upper Peninsula is part of Wisconsin or even Canada.

We’re here to change that.

Indeed, the Upper Peninsula has an identity of it’s own. As a peninsula we are surrounded by water, with over 1,700 miles of lake shore between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. We have access to the freshest water in the world. In addition to Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and 4,300 inland lakes, we are also known for our forest. Wood products have thrived in the Upper Peninsula and our forests are home to an amazing amount of wildlife. The Upper Peninsula is nearly 1/3 of Michigan (16,452 square miles), however it’s only about 3% of the population with approximately 328,000 people.

For hikers, photographers, hunters, kayakers, fishers, skiers, and for many other hobbyists the Upper Peninsula is paradise. Though winter is the season that makes the U.P. famous, and yes our winters can be long with upwards of 250 inches of snow, but don’t let that fool you. Many people don’t realize there are four full seasons in the U.P. From spring blossoms to the fall colors there is a natural beauty found in the Upper Peninsula year-round.

The 15 Counties of Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw County

Population:2,046 (15th)
Pop. Density:3.78 people/sq. mile (15th)
Land Area:541 sq. miles (15th)
Water Area:5,425 sq. miles (1st)
County Seat:Eagle River
Largest Town:Eagle River

Ontonagon County

Population:5,816 (13th)
Pop. Density:4.43 people/sq. mile (14th)
Land Area:1,312 sq. miles (3rd)
Water Area:2,430 sq. miles (3rd)
County Seat:Ontonagon
Largest Town:Ontonagon

Luce County

Population:5,339 (14th)
Pop. Density:5.91 people/sq. mile (13th)
Land Area:903 sq. miles (13th)
Water Area:1,009 sq. miles (7th)
County Seat:Newberry
Largest Town:Newberry

Schoolcraft County

Population:8,047 (12th)
Pop. Density:6.83 people/sq. mile (12th)
Land Area:1,178 sq. miles (4th)
Water Area:706 sq. miles (9th)
County Seat:Manistique
Largest Town:Manistique

Baraga County

Population:8,158 (11th)
Pop. Density:9.02 people/sq. mile (11th)
Land Area:904 sq. miles (12th)
Water Area:165 sq. miles (13th)
County Seat:L'Anse
Largest Town:L'Anse

Alger County

Population:8,842 (10th)
Pop. Density:9.63 people/sq. mile (10th)
Land Area:918 sq. miles (11th)
Water Area:4,131 sq. miles (2nd)
County Seat:Munising
Largest Town:Munising

Iron County

Population:11,631 (8th)
Pop. Density:9.89 people/sq. mile (9th)
Land Area:1,176 sq. miles (5th)
Water Area:45 sq. miles (14th)
County Seat:Crystal Falls
Largest Town:Iron River

Mackinac County

Population:10,834 (9th)
Pop. Density:10.6 people/sq. mile (8th)
Land Area:1,022 sq. miles (9th)
Water Area:1,079 sq. miles (6th)
County Seat:St. Ignace
Largest Town:St. Ignace

Gogebic County

Population:14,380 (7th)
Pop. Density:13.06 people/sq. mile (7th)
Land Area:1,101 sq. miles (7th)
Water Area:375 sq. miles (11th)
County Seat:Bessemer
Largest Town:Ironwood

Menominee County

Population:23,502 (6th)
Pop. Density:22.51 people/sq. mile (6th)
Land Area:1,044 sq. miles (8th)
Water Area:294 sq. miles (12th)
County Seat:Menominee
Largest Town:Menominee

Chippewa County

Population:36,785 (4th)
Pop. Density:23.57 people/sq. mile (5th)
Land Area:1,561 sq. miles (2nd)
Water Area:1,137 sq. miles (5th)
County Seat:Sault Ste. Marie
Largest Town:Sault Ste. Marie

Delta County

Population:36,903 (3rd)
Pop. Density:31.54 people/sq. mile (4th)
Land Area:1,170 sq. miles (6th)
Water Area:822 sq. miles (8th)
County Seat:Escanaba
Largest Town:Escanaba

Dickinson County

Population:25,947 (5th)
Pop. Density:33.87 people/sq. mile (3rd)
Land Area:766 sq. miles (14th)
Water Area:11 sq. miles (15th)
County Seat:Iron Mountain
Largest Town:Iron Mountain

Marquette County

Population:66,017 (1st)
Pop. Density:36.25 people/sq. mile (2nd)
Land Area:1,821 sq. miles (1st)
Water Area:1,604 sq. miles (4th)
County Seat:Marquette
Largest Town:Marquette

Houghton County

Population:37,361 (2nd)
Pop. Density:36.92 people/sq. mile (1st)
Land Area:1,012 sq. miles (10th)
Water Area:490 sq. miles (10th)
County Seat:Houghton
Largest Town:Houghton