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KEWEENAW COPPER COUNTRY TRAIL TOUR

  • Location: Michigan, USA
  • Audio Points: 105+
  • Valid: No expiry
  • Start: Portage Canal Lift Bridge
  • Direction: East + West
  • Download: ~53Mb

Tour Route Map

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Major Highlights

  • Brockway Mountain
  • Copper Harbor
  • Eagle Harbor
  • Eagle River Waterfall
  • Estivant Pines
  • Fort Wilkins
  • Lake Superior
  • Quincy Mine
  • The Jampot

What to Expect

It’s not the type of place travelers just stumble upon, but for those who are making their way to the Keweenaw region located on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, also known as Copper Country, well, that is a big part of the appeal.

You will experience a true mix of rugged beauty, the magnificent waters of Lake Superior, and a human history that is fascinating to explore. It’s an amazing place to sightsee, play, relax and explore. You’ll need to drive to see the sights, and I’ll be here to make sure we get to see and do all the best things. Though no longer active, copper is the defining industry that shaped the personality of the region.  The Native Americans who have many thousands of years of history on Copper Island, also valued the generous copper deposits for making useful tools.  

A wave of immigration from Finland, Norway, Cornwall and other places created a thriving copper mining economy and the unique blend of cultures found here. Copper mining wasn’t successful forever, but today, that history is still on display through mines you can tour, ruins of mines and mining equipment, and company towns left behind.

Another dominating factor is that the peninsula is surrounded by Lake Superior, and that means that maritime activities were vital. A parade of lighthouses are testament to that.

Today, as well as the sightseeing and sampling of favorite local cuisines, visitors enjoy hiking trails, a superb mountain biking system, inviting beaches, and other activities out on the water.

Our tour starts from the gateway towns of Houghton and Hancock, touring to the farthest point at Copper Harbor, and then looping back to where we started on a road trip filled with natural beauty and cultural surprises.

Suggested Start Location

Portage Canal Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock.

How Much Time Do I Need?

At least one day, but a minimum of two days is strongly recommended.

Driving Distance

The out and back driving distance of the tour is approximately 100 miles.

FAQ

WHAT IS KEWEENAW KNOWN FOR?

Located in the northernmost part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and known as ‘Copper Country’, Keweenaw is a true mix of rugged beauty, the magnificent Lake Superior, and a fascinating human and mining history resulting from an epic copper rush in the late 1800s.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF KEWEENAW?

Pronounced KEY-wah-nah, in the native Ojibwe language ‘Keweenaw’ roughly translates to ‘the crossing place’ and refers to traversing Portage Lake to reach the Keweenaw Peninsula.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT KEWEENAW?

The summer months are the most popular time to visit Keweena as the weather and water is at its warmest. Fall is the next most popular time for the spectacular fall colors show – often vibrant enough to rival any other leaf-peeper destination, followed by spring with new shoots and blooming flowers.

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED IN KEWEENAW?

At least two days is ideal to properly explore Keweenaw. The ideal visit to ‘Copper Country’ is to spend a day driving from Houghton to Copper Harbor, for an overnight stay, and spend the next day on the return drive including a side trip to Gay, Lac La Belle, or Bette Grise. Of course, add extra time if you plan to take the ferry to Isle Royale.

Trip Planning

Keweenaw Audio Driving Tour with GuideAlong

Keweenaw Copper Country Trail Trip Planner

Planning a trip to Keweenaw's Cooper Country Trail? You'll want this free trip planner with itineraries, what not to miss, best hikes, how to avoid the crowds and lots of other local tips.
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