MICHIGAN (WJMN) – In this special production, Burns Severson from the WJMN production/creative services department spent months documenting the natural beauty of the area. He narrated and created this video as a virtual tour of some of his favorite spots. Below are the individual video essays, directions, and special notes about this project that has been nearly a year in the making.

Take a break from the stress of 2020 and relax with the sights and sounds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This series of videos was collected during the Spring and Summer months. The first video is about the length of a TV episode. The rest of the videos are shorter one-off pieces.” – Burns Severson

Surfing at Mccarty’s Cove I got lucky with this one. It was a great sunrise and there was a surfer there. The bright pinkness of the sunrise didn’t last that long, while it was out it was just brilliant. After shooting at Mccarty’s Cove I filmed a little at Lower Harbor as well. I didn’t think it fit as well with the rest and decided to only use this location.


Au train Scenic View This is a nice little beach in Au train. It wasn’t busy when I went, but imagine it gets busier on the weekend. In the video you can see where the Au train River feeds into Lake Superior. Its a nice juxtaposition of the darker river water running into the clearer lake water. You can even see the mix on the satellite view on Google Maps.

Google Maps link for more info

Carp River Bridge This is located right before you drive into Marquette. It was a spot I had driven by many times and never really given it much thought. You can see the bike path go right over the Carp River that feeds into the lake. In the video you can see the river water push against Lake Superior. Across the highway is a lot of hiking and biking trails.

Location on Google Maps

Lakeside Summertime Marquette I had a feeling this would be the last video for a while and I wanted to capture the typical summer vibe. I ended up just driving along the lake shore and happened to follow an ore boat. I waited for over an hour for it to dump its load but it never did. Overall, I was really happy with how it turned out.

Downtown Marquette

Dead River Bridge I didn’t really know what to expect visiting this location. I hadn’t been there since it was a working bridge. There are a few houses around but not a lot of people to be seen. You can see the bridge that replaced it on the video. Like most places I went, it seems like a nice place to fish.

Apparently its got a 8/10 historical rating on historicbridges.org

Harlow Lake It’s a slight drive out side of Marquette. Cool, small, inland lake, easy parking and no bugs. Besides two other people I had whole place to myself. That large rock would be a great place to have a picnic or go fishing. I wouldn’t go out of my way to go back. There are better creeks for your time.

More info from Travel Marquette

Mt. Marquette Scenic Overlook It’s a great overlook and you can drive right up. It used to be undriveable to most cars due to large potholes, but they have been fixed. It’s a good place to go for fall colors or a summer day. I would highly recommend having a picnic up there.

More info

Black River Falls It’s a short trip out of Marquette. Point your GPS for Island Lake Road, Ishpeming, MI instead of directly to Black River falls. (Trust me.) Once you get there, follow the signs. It is a seasonal road, so it may be closed now. It was also incredibly buggy when I went. Overall really nice and I did see someone fishing there as well.

More info on Google Maps

Road Side Dock This location is close to Autrain. I’m not quite sure where it is. I pulled over because it looked neat. And it was neat.

Laughing Whitefish Falls According to Michigan.gov “Laughing Whitefish Falls is considered by many to be the most spectacular of Michigan’s falls.” They just maybe right. The falls are huge and the video doesn’t do them justice. It was one the busier spots I went to. There is a short (.6 mile) walk up the falls and large wooden stairs to walk down it. Great spot, worth a trip.

Here is some more great information from gowaterfalling.com

Laughing Whitefish Falls (part 2) This is the little walk up to the waterfall. It truly is deserving of its own video. It was a great time of the year, spring had started and everything was a brilliant green. There is a stream that runs along the path and a couple benches along the way if I remember correctly. If you are going to Laughing Whitefish Falls you are going have to use this trail and you are going to love it.

Along M-28. This was taken at a turn off point along M-28 west of Marquette. There are bunch of these turns off. I remember it being a fairly windy day the waves were larger than normal. I really liked seeing a couple walking their dog. The dog seemed to really love the beach.

If you are traveling east of Marquette there are bunch of these.

Au train Falls This was probably my favorite waterfall. I did two videos on this site. There is just so much there. There are two falls, and this video is of the lower falls. It feels like water is just leaking everywhere. This would also be a top spot to bring a lunch. You can see a picnic table at the 36 second mark. This has got to one of the more popular summer spots. If you go on weekday (like I did) or a non-peak time you might have the whole place to yourself.

More info from the good folks at gowaterfalling.com

Somewhere in Big Bay I was looking for a waterfall in Big Bay and my directions took me to seasonal road that got increasingly questionable. I was nervous about my car bottoming out and being stuck with limited cell service. I turned back and got some video of this tiny bridge and the river it crosses.

Au Train Falls (part 2) This is the upper falls area of the Au train Falls. As I stated before this is my favorite waterfall of the ones I saw. You get two diverse water fall areas and a picnic table. Its about a 45 minute drive from Marquette.

More info from the good folks at gowaterfalling.com

Forestville Dam It was a pleasant melting spring day. It’s a place I have driven by many times but never took the time to explore it. Its a very short river walk that I would highly recommend.

Google Maps

Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve It’s located in right off the Iron Ore Heritage trail. I saw a few ducks and have heard its good for bird watching. It’s a nice walk and an excellent nature preserve.

Official Site & Google Maps

Powder Mill Disc Golf This video was taken along the Powder Mill Disc Golf course. Nature wasn’t quite in bloom yet but you can see it was coming in the video. I tried to capture the muted colors of early spring in this video. Speaking of Disc Golf, this is probably my second favorite course. If you are in Marquette its a great course. But dont take my word for it.

Google Maps

Dead River Falls Tripadvisor.com rated as the #6 best thing to do in Marquette. It should be higher. You can’t believe everything you read on the internet. This is the largest and most impressive waterfall on this website and a quick easy drive from Marquette. It’s not a hard hike but it is also not close to the parking lot.


Harlow Creek off of 550 I was looking for something else entirely and ran across this little turn off. It was a great little river and I would guess good for fishing. I walked a couple miles along the river and it was really nice.

Google Maps

Little Presque Isle Day Use Area According to the DNR the “Little Presque Isle tract is often called the crown jewel of Lake Superior, with its beautiful sand beaches, rugged shoreline cliffs, heavily timbered forests, and unmatched public views.” It couldn’t be said better. Its about 7 miles from the city of Marquette and boasts some of the oldest rocks in the world. If you can time it right, you can have this whole place to yourself. When this video was taken I saw more squirrels than people. It was also windy and super chilly, so factor that in your trip.

Michigan.gov & Google Maps

Lower Harbor Everyone seemed to enjoy the first sunrise video (Surfing at Mccarty’s Cove) and was hoping for something similar but in a different area. Needless to say it was overcast and super foggy. Lesson learned I need to ask Tom first. Initially I was disappointed but this turned into one of my favorite videos.


Little Garlic River This is another hidden gem trail. The trails follows the river and it really has some great views. I saw more spring fishing in this spot that I saw in any other videos. It seemed to be a good fly fishing spot. It’s not going to be as crowded because people tend to hike the more popular outdoor spots closer to Marquette.

Google Maps

Little Garlic Falls Hike Guide 2020

Wetmore Landing If you go there in the winter you are going to want (like most winter time activities) a good pair of boots. Let me learn this lesson for you. The trail along the lake wasn’t hard but it was wet and could be tricky in parts. It’s only 7 miles from the city of Marquette to Wetmore landing. This is a recommended destination.

Google Maps

Trailhead on Wright I started at the trailhead on Wright Street in Marquette and just walked along the river. Its a great area for walking or biking.

Google Map Location

Earth Day It was Earth Day and the news director suggested I get some video of flowers coming up. I hadn’t really see anything blooming yet. My neighbor (an excellent gardener) suggested I look on the east side of buildings. He was right and that is the story behind this video.

Downtown Marquette

Tourist Park Trailhead This day was exceptionally grey and I struggled getting any video that I thought was good. Sometimes you just look a little harder to find something that works. I really like how objects mirrored themselves in bodies of water. If the water was moving they looked like wavy versions of themselves. This is another great little trail supported by the Noquemanon Trail Network.

Google Maps

Noquemanon Trail Network

Powder Mill Road A couple of videos feature this area in different seasons. This area has a lot to offer. You can bike, hike, fish and even play disc golf.

Google Maps

Downtown Marquette Fog It was an incredibly foggy morning. Familiar landmarks were reduced to silhouettes. People ran into the void. I tried to capture as much before the sun burned it off.

Springtime along the Lake I feel like this video is very lackluster and that is why it works. Spring can be overcast skies, muted colors every where and often down right depressing. Summer will come, until then the ground is made of dead grass and large chunks of snow that haven’t melted. Please enjoy.

Its not all bad.

Spring Fishin’ (Carp River Bridge) This was one of my earlier videos. I later would shoot for around 2 minutes. Honestly it took a while for me to learn where to look for shots. This video kind of highlights the obvious shots. It isn’t a bad video but it wasn’t the best. That being said, I really love the Carp River Bridge area. I did another video on this area (Carp River Bridge) in the summer time and it really shows the contrast of the seasons.

Location on Google Maps

Last Big Snowfall This was the last big snow fall of year, it snowed a foot and half in two days. It’s a lot of snow but not historic numbers. Downtown was desolate not only due to the snow but also it was the middle of the pandemic. Very eerie. Not everyone stayed inside, the surfer seemed to be having a blast. Fun fact about this video, a day or so after this aired it was 50 degrees, sunny and everything melted.

Weather Information