The Pine Mountain Stairs
Hiking up the 500 concrete stairs that ascend Pine Mountain is a definitely a test of your physical ability.
Your legs will burn. Your lungs will heave. You will have to stop, probably more than once, to catch your breath. And when you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with this view. (see right)
Never mind that you could just drive to the scenic lookout and skip the stairs entirely. You wouldn’t do that, would you? (Okay, you probably would and quite frankly so do I most of the time. I won’t tell anybody if you don’t.)
I walked the steps a few weeks ago in place of my normal cardio routine and my legs were still sore days later. And now I’m hooked! I’ve been back a few times since and last weekend I even kept going, all the way up to the top of the ski jump.
There’s just something about climbing 500 concrete steps, especially when you have the time to do it a few times in a row that begets a feeling of accomplishment.
“I climbed 500 concrete steps today,” you could say to your friends. What have you done?”
“Uhh… We ate at McDonalds…”
That said, I’d recommend that anyone with a health condition abstain from climbing these stairs. They’re pretty steep and could be dangerous if you’re not in decent shape.
However, there’s a beautiful pavilion at the top of the hill as well as the wonderful U.P. Veteran’s Memorial where those who opt out can relax while you tear it up on the stairs.
To see more photos of the Pine Mountain Stairs, click here to access my Facebook page and then and then browse to the “Pine Mountain Stairs” photo album. (You’ll need to “like” the page if you haven’t already)
Bottom Line: Climbing the stairs at Pine Mountain is a great thing to do if you’re in the Iron Mountain area and want an excellent outdoor workout that just happens to include an awesome view.
Top of the stairs / scenic lookout: From downtown Iron Mountain, travel North (West) on US 2 and turn left onto Kent St. by the Pine Mountain sign. After a few blocks, turn right on Forest St., then a quick left onto Walker St., then veer right onto Kramer Dr. Kramer dead ends into the parking lot.
Bottom of the stairs / Pine Mountain Lodge / Famers Bar and Grill: Go to N3332 Pine Mountain Road, Iron Mountain, MI 49801. Park in the parking lot (near the bottom of the ski jump), or drive up the unmarked dirt road to the right of the ski jump landing area and park at the bottom of the stairs.
To see the Pine Mountain Stair’s location on my map of the Upper Peninsula, click here.