Presque Isle


As Marquette's recreational crown jewel, special attention is given here to Presque Isle Park. The popular regional facility is located on Presque Isle ("almost" an island), a 323-acre forested oval-shaped headland/peninsula which juts into Lake Superior in the northern tip of the City. Presque Isle is known throughout the United States for its natural beauty

The "Island", as it is referred to by locals, has had many visitors starting with the prehistoric people 3,000 to 7,000 years ago. Early residents of Marquette traveled there by boat since there was no bridge over the Dead River. Originally, it was designated as a government lighthouse reservation. Through the efforts of Peter White, a bill was passed on July 12, 1886, by the United States Congress deeding the Island to the City of Marquette. White built a road from the City to the park and planted the tall Lombardy Poplar trees which line Lakeshore Boulevard. Today, Presque Isle Park is Marquette's most beloved attraction, offering residents year-round outdoor recreation, serene settings for nature observation and education, and cultural experiences.

Situated at the end of Lakeshore Boulevard, the showcase park is easily accessible by either the bike path or automobile. The park supports over 100 species of native plants and diverse landscapes including pebble beaches, rocky cliffs, bogs, and forest. Major facilities at the island include two picnic areas, concession facilities (the Island Store), hiking trails, playground facilities, three drinking fountains, grassy open areas, a historic wood band shell for concerts, two sets of restrooms (serving each picnic area), an open air park shelter, and custom designed timber gazebo.

Picnic Areas and Facilities

The two major picnic areas are well supplied with picnic tables and cooking facilities. The larger of the two, located on the south east side of the park, contains a playground area with merry-go-round, swings, slide, and climbing apparatus. The park also contains numerous park benches. A new stone and log pavilion was constructed in 1999 to replace an old structure that was razed in 1986. The building contains a kitchen, interior meeting rooms, storage areas, restrooms, a 1400 square foot deck, and large interior open area designed for community events, small receptions and other gatherings. The approximately $200,000 project was funded to a large extent by donations and in-kind services and a loan by the City of Marquette. Presque Isle is also the site of the City owned Presque Isle Marina as well as the Upper Harbor light beacon and a long breakwater (or "breakwall".)

Trails and Fauna

The park is served by the John B. Anderton Trail System, winding through the interior of Presque Isle Park, and Peter White Drive covering the narrow outer perimeter of the Island. The scenic roadway was improved and repaved in 1999. Turnouts are provided at intervals for those wishing to stop and travel by foot on a portion or simply enjoy the scenery. The eastern coastline, filled with coves and ancient rock outcroppings, is best viewed from the outlook platform just north of the graves of Charlie Kawbawgam, the last chief of the local Chippewas, and his wife, Charlotte. Another attraction on Presque Isle Park is the white-tailed deer. This free-roaming band at times contains albino deer whose snowy-white coat dramatically contrasts with the typical brown coloring of the species. In recent years, because of artificially-provided food by park visitors and lack of predation and hunting, overpopulation of the deer, raccoons, and Canada geese have required culling, removal, and other measures to prevent over browsing and waste accumulation.


Fishing opportunities are available at several spots in the park. As with most other fishing areas in the City, fishermen concentrate on spring and fall catches of native lake whitefish, lake trout and brook trout which were introduced for sport fishing. Most of the park's man-made facilities are concentrated near the park's entrance (a narrow area of land connecting the park to the mainland). Despite the seemingly large number of facilities described above, most of the Island has been kept out of development to preserve its natural beauty.

Peter White Drive

Peter White Drive meanders through Presque Isle Park offering access to the many features of the park. 

The drive is open for park hours 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily in summer months. During this time, the seasonal portion of Peter White Drive closes to vehicular traffic during Walking Hours to allow for foot traffic.

Winter hours at Presque Isle Park are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.  The seasonal portion of Peter White Drive closes to vehicular traffic when snow accumulation begins.  The seasonal drive remains closed through the winter months.  The main portion of Peter White Drive is plowed and open during park hours throughout the winter months.

Bikes are welcome on Peter White Drive year round.  Please use paved pathways only when biking at Presque Isle Park.



Walking Hours

Below are the days and times the seasonal portion of Peter White Drive will be open to foot traffic.  All motor vehicles are prohibited from traveling around the back portion of the Island at the following times:

• Monday and Wednesday 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
• Tuesday and Thursday 7:00 am to 1:00 pm
• Saturday and Sunday 7:00 am to 10:00 am

The seasonal portion of Peter White Drive will remain on this schedule through November 30, unless closed early due to accumulation of snow on the road.  2021 UPDATE: Peter White Drive back loop will open May 1 for Summer 2021.


Section 28.10 *Animals Prohibited*. Animals are prohibited at the City's Presque Isle Park, unless confined to a motor vehicle, at all public bathing beaches, at Park Cemetery, and at any special events where signs are posted specifically prohibiting animals with the exception of leader dogs for the blind.

Presque Isle Facility Rentals

Hours Available
7 days a week 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Winter Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
(8 day notice required)

For Pavilion reservations, call the Parks and Recreation office at (906) 228-0460

Costs of Rental
Hourly Fee (2 Hour Minimum):
Resident Rate: $90/hr Non-resident Rate: $120/hr
Security Deposit: $200.00

Alcohol Permit $50.00
Change in Reservation / Cancellation: $20.00
Additional Temporary Structure Fee: $150.00

Staff will open and close the pavilion according to the rental hours scheduled with the Parks and Recreation Department. Set-up and take-down time must be within the scheduled rental hours. There will be no early set ups or late take downs unless additional time is purchased.

Fixtures/Amenities (Indoors):
The inside capacity of the pavilion is 68 persons, as set by the fire code. An additional capacity of 68 is permitted for the open porch area. The pavilion offers five 60-inch circular folding tables, four 8-foot folding tables and 68 folding chairs. It is the renter’s responsibility to set up and take down these items. The tables and chairs provided by the City are not to be removed from the building.

There is a small kitchen area that contains a stove, sink, microwave and refrigerator. It is the renters responsibility to provide their own cooking utensils, silverware, service ware and linens. The stove, refrigerator and sink must be cleaned after your rental. A beautiful gas fireplace is available for your use on the east side of the pavilion.

Fixtures/Amenities (Outdoors):
The outside capacity, under the canopy, is 68 people. This number is set by fire code. Permanent, beautiful, half-log picnic tables have been installed for your use. Due to the size of the tables, we require that they not be moved. A large charcoal grill is available for use, the renter must provide their own charcoal.

Other Beneficial Information:
There is no smoking allowed in the pavilion or under the pavilion canopy area.
If you decorate the pavilion, please use potted plants. No staples, tacks, tape, glue, nails or screws.
Please do not adhere items to the pavilion structure.
Vehicles are prohibited from driving on the grass or paved brick and from blocking any roadway.
Additional parking is available near the Island Store.
If you have a disability and require assistance to participate, please provide advance notice.
Staff will open and close the pavilion before and after your event.
There is not a speaker system at the pavilion.
Reservations must be made at least 8 days in advance.
Alcohol may be consumed at the Pavilion with a special alcohol permit obtained through the Parks and Recreation Office.

Printable Version

Closed for winter (November - April)
Resident fee $65/hr (2 hour minimum)
Non-resident fee $85/hr (2 hour minimum)
$100.00 security deposit
$20.00 for a change of reservation/cancellation
Over 100 benches*
Power: 25 amps (not much)
No staples, tacks, tape, or anything adhered to the structure
Hours available May-October, 7 days a week 8 a.m. -10 p.m.

*New to Bandshell audiences in 2018: addition of 40 new benches, offering fresh seating for up to 80 patrons. This purchase was made possible by the support of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Printable Version

Closed for winter (November - April)
Resident fee $50/hr (2 hour minimum)
Non-resident fee $65/hr (2 hour minimum)
$100.00 security deposit
$20.00 for a change of reservation/cancellation
Power: no electrical power available
No staples, tacks, tape, or anything adhered to the structure
Hours available May-October, 7 days a week 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Printable Version

Resident fee $15/hr
Non-resident fee $20/hr
$100.00 security deposit
$20.00 for a change of reservation/cancellation
Approximately 20 X 30 feet
4-6 picnic tables, 3 grills, 2 electrical outlets, and a water spigot.

Printable Version

Resident fee $15/hr
Non-resident fee $20/hr
$100.00 security deposit
$20.00 for a change of reservation/cancellation
Approximately 30 X 40 feet
6–8 picnic tables, drinking fountain, electrical outlets on nearby power pole

Printable Version

$10.00/ per hour
$100.00 Security Deposit
Three sites available
Grills and picnic tables - limited
Limited electric (20 amp)
No loudspeakers or amplifying equipment (per city ordinance) except by special event permit.
Hours 8am-10pm May-October

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Facility Schedule


Other Information

  • Security Deposit:
    Security deposit will be refunded provided the area and facilities are left in the same condition as when you arrived.

  • Additional Temporary Structure
    If temporary structure is used, a non-refundable fee of $150 is due in addition to the facility rental.

  • Refund/Cancellation Policy:

    10 days or more ahead of schedule date, a full refund of the hourly fees will be made less $20.00 fee. 2-9 days ahead of schedule date, 50% refund will be given. Less than 48 hours notice, there will be no refund.