In 1844, when William Burt and Jacob Houghton (the brother of geologist Douglass Houghton) discovered iron deposits near Teal Lake west of Marquette, the Jackson Mining Company, the first organized mining company in the region, was formed. Marquette continues to be a shipping port for hematite ores and, today, enriched iron ore pellets, from nearby mines and pelletizing plants. About 7.9 million gross tons of pelletized iron ore passed through Marquette's Presque Isle Harbor in 2005. There is some remaining stone, primarily quartzite that has left some great climbing routes here in Michigan. There is free camping near the rocks and you are asked to be respectful of the area.
If you are persistent, blessed, or just plain lucky, you may get the chance to see the Aurora Borealis while you are climbing at Cliff Drive on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. The rock deposits on this peninsula were formed by erupting volcanoes many years ago. For hundreds of years, the basalt piled up thicker and thicker; groundwater percolated in, too, filling the bubbles and cracks with minerals, creating the Keweenaw’s vast deposits of pure copper. Eventually, the basalt layers sank, forming a basin surrounded by tilted, uplifted rock. These high spots today are visible as the Keweenaw Mountain Range, the spine that runs the length of the peninsula and across Isle Royale. Consequently, the basalt found throughout the Keweenaw is believed to be among the oldest—perhaps the oldest—exposed volcanic rock on earth. This same basalt is the rock that you will traverse if you climb at Cliff Drive.
Majestic sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline are all patiently waiting for you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The colors in the cliffs are created by the large amounts of minerals in the rock. The cliffs are composed of the Munising Formation of 500 million year old Cambrian period sandstone. Streaks on the face of the cliffs come from the groundwater leaching out of the rock. During the Romantic Era of the 1800s, a series of American writers described their feelings upon sight of the Pictured Rocks. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft visited in 1820 and remarked upon "some of the most sublime and commanding views in nature".
The name Negaunee comes from a Native American word nigani (Ojibwa tribe) meaning "foremost, in advance, leading," which was determined to be the closest Obijwa translation for pioneer. The neighboring town of Ishpeming, whose name means "on the summit," often interpret Ishpeming as Heaven and tell the unknowing that Negaunee means Hell. "Caving grounds" have been reopened to the community and renamed as Old Towne. Residents can now tour Old Towne to visit the sites of historical family homes [markers have been erected] and mining artifacts can be observed. Just on the outside of this community on Suicide Road, you can find the Suicide Bowl. You can see the Suicide Ski Jump from the top of the crag.
300 million year old sandstone and quartzite ledges decorate the banks of the Grand River just outside of Lansing, Michigan, waiting for climbers and explorers alike to explore their history and beauty. Indians who lived in the vicinity of the Grand River near the ledges were of Pottawatomi, Chippewa, and Ottawa ancestry. They dug clams in the river, mined coal on the river banks, and hunted for boar, deer, turkey, fox, and bear. They also fished for black bass. Their name for the ledges translated into English as "Big Rocks". Oak Park in Grand Ledge is one of the few places to climb in Michigan making it a popular destination for local climbers and it has recently been drawing in many climbers from other states. Since Grand Ledge is a resort town, there is a huge amount of camping and lodging available.