Beaches & Swimming
Beach hop from the scenic shores of popular McCarty’s Cove to some of Marquette’s more secluded sandy beaches. With access to Lake Superior—the greatest of the Great Lakes, and plenty of local waterfalls, inland lakes, and other ways of splashing around, you won’t want to miss out on all the fun Marquette County has to offer. Here is your insider’s guide to Marquette’s beaches and coastline.
During the summer, sunbathers flock to McCarty’s Cove for its expansive views of Lake Superior. This popular beach is located near downtown and home to the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse. With lifeguard supervision during peak season, this beach is a great option for families. The beach also hosts volleyball nets, so be sure to get in a game or two with your friends.
Melt under the sun at Marquette’s laid-back South Beach. South Beach coasts Lake Superior, offering its visitors views of the Marquette skyline and southern hills. This beach is a family favorite, with local lifeguards present throughout the summer and a shallow shelf great for supervising your young ones. This beach also offers accessibility options, parking, and restrooms on the beach.
Little Presque Isle Beach
Looking to escape the crowd? Drive 15 minutes northwest of Marquette and you will find Little Presque Isle Beach. This beach is perfect for a lazy day or evening dip, with views of the endless Lake Superior horizon. The beach also offers access to nearby hiking trails if you are looking to explore the local wilderness and rugged shoreline cliffs.
Au Train Beach
Au Train Beach is a quick 25-minute ride off M-28 with the best dunes in central UP. Au Train beach is the perfect beach to witness Lake Superior’s natural beauty. With access to the Au Train River, visitors are free to splash around the shallow outlet before going for a dip in the chilly Lake Superior. This beach is rarely overcrowded and offers parking near the beach entry, making it perfect for small groups to celebrate the hot summer days.
LAKE SUPERIOR SAFETY TIPS
Whether it’s your first time in Superior or a yearly tradition, the big lake can change quickly and must be respected.
1. Swim where there are lifeguards. Never swim alone. Before entering the water, make sure someone knows you are doing so.
2. Check the City of Marquette website’s beach flag advisory system before swimming in Lake Superior. Flags are put up at South Beach, McCarty's Cove, Middle Beach, and Picnic Rocks to indicate dangerous to highly dangerous rip current conditions. Also, check the National Weather Service's Rip Current Forecast.
3. Rock formations are a likely place to find dangerously strong rip currents. This includes the Picnic Rock area, which is located on Lake Shore Boulevard, near the Lakeview Arena and a short walk from campus. Do not swim in this area. Move down the beach to McCarty’s Cove where lifeguards are located.
4. Know how to “break the grip of a rip.” Learn more from the National Weather Service at http://ripcurrents.noaa.gov and see below.
5. If you see someone caught in a rip current, going into the rip current area yourself is not the best solution.
6. Strong winds on Lake Superior that create huge waves are amazing to see and photograph, but they, too, can be deadly. Do not go into the water or out onto the breakwall at Presque Isle Park during high winds.