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 Though no longer active, copper is the defining industry that shaped the personality of the region.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.
Portage Canal Lift Bridge from Houghton to Hancock.
At least one day, but a minimum of two days is strongly recommended.
The out and back driving distance of the tour is approximately 100 miles.
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.
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.
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.