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Parks, Trails, Driving Routes, Historic Spots & More in Copper Harbor, Michigan

At the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Copper Harbor is a popular destination with beautiful scenery and abundant choices for outdoor recreation throughout the year.

Scenic Drives and Bike Routes

While Copper Harbor is a beautiful spot, the journey there and back can be truly magnificent. The route makes for a scenic, relaxing drive, and if you choose to ride your bicycle, the bike routes along the rural highways offer lots of beautiful scenery, varied terrain, and sometimes steep hills. The scenery is spectacular in the fall when the leaves are changing colors.

From the intersection of M-26 and US-41 in Phoenix, you can do a loop to and from Copper Harbor. For the most scenic route, we recommended taking M-26 to Eagle River and Eagle Harbor, then following Brockway Mountain Drive drive to Copper Harbor and then going back to Phoenix on US-41 from Copper Harbor. Going north along Lake Superior and Brockway Mountain Drive will provide you with better angles of the scenic views than driving south on M-26. The views from the heights of Brockway Mountain Drive can be awesome, especially on clear sunny days. Note: if you are riding your bike along M-26 and don't want to ride up and down very steep hills, stay on M-26 to Copper Harbor and do not follow Brockway Mountain Drive; if you decide to ride your bike on Brockway Mountain Drive, there may be some points where you might want to walk your bike because of the challenge of a steep hill (you're climbing a mountain). The road shoulder can be small or non-existent on M-26 and US-41 between Phoenix and Copper Harbor, so you will need to ride your bike close to the outer edge of the road.

Just a few of the things to see near M-26 and US-41 between Phoenix and Copper Harbor...
  • Eagle River: Eagle River Falls is on the right side of the road near the Eagle River village limits. The amount of water flowing from the falls can vary; if there's been rain in the area recently, the flow of water will be greater. Two historic locations nearby are Lake Shore Drive Bridge and Eagle River Courthouse.

  • Jacobs Falls and the Jampot: a little over two miles from Eagle River, you'll see a small waterfall on the right side of the road, which is Jacobs Falls. A little farther down the road, you'll find the Jampot on the south side of the road. The Jampot features delicious cookies, homemade jams/jellies and other tasty treats.

  • Great Sand Bay and Cat Harbor: very scenic spots where you can pull over and park to enjoy beautiful views. Look for freighters in the distance since they commonly use the Lake Superior shipping lanes near the Keweenaw Peninsula.

  • Eagle Harbor: the prettiest harbor on the Keweenaw Peninsula has a very scenic view of Eagle Harbor Light Station. There are several museums and historic spots in Eagle Harbor to visit. Eagle Harbor also has a marina with a boat launch if you want to take a kayak or recreational boat out on Eagle Harbor and Lake Superior.

  • Brockway Mountain Drive: The hills on Brockway Mountain Drive can be very steep at times, but the views are breathtaking as you get closer to Copper Harbor, especially on clear sunny days. There are two nature trails accessible from Brockway Mountain Drive, the Michigan Nature Association Trail and the Audobon Brockway Mountain Sanctuary Trail. You can pull off and park along Brockway Mountain Drive and experience a little nature on either of the hiking trails.

  • Lake Medora: this scenic lake is a popular fishing spot, and you'll find a boat launch a short distance from US-41.

  • Delaware Mine & Museum: you can take Delaware Shortcut from US-41 to access this historic mining spot, where you can see the inside of a copper mine.

  • Phoenix Church, Central Mine village and Bammert Blacksmith Shop: These historic locations are maintained by the Keweenaw County Historical Society and can be toured.

If you have time on your visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula, the area from Hancock to Phoenix on US-41 also has many places to see and visit. If you ride your bike, you can ride on the wide road shoulder from Phoenix to northern Hancock. Along the way, you'll roll through Copper Country, passing the Quincy Mine and boom towns that were vital during the peak of the Copper Boom in the mid-to-late 1800s. The historic towns of Calumet and Laurium have numerous attractions to see, including the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Calumet Theatre, and Laurium Manor Inn. Houghton also has places to visit and plenty of trails for outdoor adventures.

Snowmobile Trails

The Keweenaw Peninsula is a winter wonderland from December through March, typically getting more than 250 inches of snow for the season. From Copper Harbor to the south, there are numerous groomed trails for snowmobiling See the maps page for the various snowmobile trails to Eagle Harbor, Laurium, and other places.

Hiking & Mountain Biking Trails

The trailhead for the Hunter's Point Trail is located near the boat ramp for the Copper Harbor State Dock. The hiking trail winds through a wooded area providing periodic views of the harbor area and Lake Superior.

The Fort Wilkins Historic State Park hiking trail circles around the park, passing through the campground and Fort Wilkins. The trail provides beautiful views of Lake Fanny Hooe and the Copper Harbor Lighthouse.

South of Copper Harbor there are several trails for hiking and mountain biking, on the grounds of Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and Fort Wilkins State Park. The trails are single-track and two-track routes, often over very hilly terrain.

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

Copper Harbor's Fort Wilkins was once a remote outpost for the United States Army. The fort was established in 1844 during the Copper Boom on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Fort Wilkins was commissioned to protect the valuable copper resources in the area, shipping facilities on Lake Superior, and a surging population on the peninsula. In 1870, the fort was abandoned by the army, and in 1923, the fort and the Copper Harbor Lighthouse became a state park.

Near the end of the Great Depression, federal funding from the Work Projects Administration enabled the State of Michigan to restore Fort Wilkins. Between 1939 and 1942, workers (many of them former miners in the area) carefully restored aging structures and rebuilt buildings that were beyond repair, such as two of the married enlisted men's quarters.

Today, visitors to Fort Wilkins Historic State Park can tour the beautifully restored fort and learn about the brave men who toughed out harsh winters to serve their country. Artifacts and exhibits in the fort's many buildings help describe what life was like in the fort.

In addition to the fort, you can tour the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, which was built in 1866. The lighthouse is only accessible by boat, and lighthouse tours are available from the Copper Harbor State Dock on the west side of Copper Harbor. Lighthouse tour boats operate from Memorial Day through mid-October, and during the 15-minute boat ride across the harbor to the lighthouse, visitors are given a brief history of Copper Harbor. Once you reach land, you can tour the lighthouse and the original 1848 lighthouse keeper's dwelling, which is the oldest remaining lighthouse-related structure on Lake Superior.

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park has trails for hiking and biking and boat launch facilities for recreational boats and kayaks on Lake Fanny Hooe. Fishing and swimming is allowed on Lake Fanny Hooe.

The park's modern campground has 159 camp sites with electrical service and modern restrooms. There is also an organizational campground, a rustic site with a vault toilet. For camping reservation information, please see the DNR's Fort Wilkins web site.

Public Parks

In addition to the state park, Copper Harbor has a few smaller parks:
  • Hunter's Point Park is a narrow park that borders Copper Harbor's bay and Lake Superior. The park has trail that goes to the end of Hunter's Point and curves along the western edge to the Copper Harbor State Harbor.

  • Third Street Memorial Park is a peaceful, land preserve on the edge of Copper Harbor.

  • Scenic Lookout is a small park with a big view. Offering a spectacular view of Copper Harbor and Lake Fanny Hooe, Scenic Lookout is accessible from Brockway Mountain Drive, which is very steep and has a sharp curve between the park and Lakeshore Drive.

Boating & Kayaking

Copper Harbor has a beautiful bay with access to Lake Superior and a scenic inland lake, named Lake Fanny Hooe.

Lake Fanny Hooe provides a more sheltered, peaceful body of water for recreational boating, fishing, and paddling. Boats and kayaks can be launched from the boat launch area at Fort Wilkins Historic State Park.

Lake Superior can provide a scenic and challenging adventure for boaters and kayakers. Recreational boats and kayaks/canoes are launched from two different spots on Copper Harbor.

Kayaks and canoes can be launched on to Copper Harbor from the Sixth Street Dock, a docking area near downtown for small, transient boats.

Larger boats are launched on to the bay from the Copper Harbor State Harbor, also called Copper Harbor State Dock. The facility is on the east side of Copper Harbor on M-26/Lakeshore Drive and provides access to Copper Harbor's bay and Lake Superior, where the water is a very blue color. The facility has a boat launch, restrooms, showers, electricity, water, pump-out, and fuel. From mid-June to mid-October, you can reach the harbor master from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (906)289-4698.

More About Copper Harbor

For dining near downtown, the Mariner North Resort and Harbor Haus Restaurant offer tasty meals. The Pines Resort is home to Zik's Bar, which offers breakfast and lunch. South of downtown, Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is home to a world-class chef who prepares fabulous specialties. (Note: during the winter, the Mariner North Resort and Zik's Bar are open. Harbor Haus is only open June through mid-October).

If you like to golf, Keweenaw Mountain Lodge has a 9-hole course with picturesque views.

Copper Harbor has many small motels and inns for overnight stays. Brockway Inn, King Copper Waterfront Motel, Bella Vista Motel, Harbor Lights Inn, Minnetonka Resort, and The Mariner North are some of the hotels located in Copper Harbor. A short distance from downtown, Keweenaw Mountain Lodge has cabins and rooms for rent. If you prefer camping, Fort Wilkins Historic State Park has a modern campground. Depending on the time of year, some lodging choices may not be open, so you'll want to check in advance.

Isle Royale National Park is located northwest of Copper Harbor in Lake Superior, and you can board the Isle Royal Ferry Line in Copper Harbor for three-hour ferry ride to Isle Royale. The ferry offers round trip service from mid-May through late September.

You can find more trails, historic locations, and attractions to visit south of Copper Harbor in Eagle Harbor, Calumet, Laurium, Hancock, and Houghton.

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