McCormick Wilderness is in Michigan's Ottawa National Forest. It's located in that bump of the U.P. between Marquette and L'Anse. All I know from driving through that area on US Highway 41 is that it's one of most beautiful areas of the U.P.

But to keep the McCormick Wilderness unspoiled, the regulations prohibit power tools and motorized vehicles. Last fall there was a need to build a boardwalk because a hiking trail "become waterlogged thanks to beaver activity" (you don't see that excuse in many places)

According to, the people on the project didn't want to break the rules with motorized vehicles, so they "trucked in two teams of pack mules from the Shoshone National Forest in Cody, Wyoming". As for the tools, they put in about 480 feet of boardwalk with hand saws, drills and other human-powered tools. They'll be back to finish the boardwalk this summer.

While they were in the U.P., the mule teams traveled to Marquette, because one of the handlers, "wanted the mules to see Lake Superior".

Here's the story. With the photo of the mules modeling on the Lake Superior beach.

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