Explore Michigan’s northernmost access to Lake Superior on the beautiful Keweenaw Peninsula. This rugged, but picturesque area on the state’s Upper Peninsula offers a paddler’s paradise with opportunities for observing local wildlife, fishing for dinner, or just relaxing on a spot of beautiful shoreline. And the best news is it’s all just a day’s drive from Columbus. Beautiful scenery and notable history abounds in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Camp in the middle of it all at the Fort Wilkins Historic State Park near the top of the peninsula and the town of Copper Harbor. You can camp and spend time exploring the restored 1844 army military outpost and one of the first lighthouses on Lake Superior. It also hosts excellent opportunities for fishing, boating, and more.
KEWEENAW WATER TRAIL
Spend some time paddling to your heart’s content on the Keweenaw Water Trail. Even though you’re making your way around a peninsula, you can actually travel in a circle, when you cut between Lake Superior and Keweenaw Bay via the Portage Lake Canal. You can paddle out in the elements of Lake Superior, or in the relative calm Portage Lake, depending on your preference. There’s so much water to explore, in fact, to travel the whole water trail, you’ll have to plan for a week’s worth of adventure. But don’t fret about being without human contact for a whole week, there are quaint towns along the trail as well, where you can grab a bite to eat along the way. You can also opt for a shorter one or two-day adventure and still get a taste of some of the best paddling the state has to offer.
An expanse of majestic water like Lake Superior means lots of boat traffic in all sorts of weather, and that means plenty of lighthouses. On the Keweenaw Peninsula, you can see nine different lighthouses during your stay. From small to large, many of the lighthouses are now private residences. A visit to the still operational Copper Harbor Lighthouse is something special. A tour there includes a boat ride, a visit to the restored facility, and even a trip to the light keeper’s house — the oldest remaining lighthouse structure on Lake Superior, dating back to 1848. If you time your tour right, you’ll even get to admire a spectacular summer sunset.
COPPER COUNTRY TRAIL NATIONAL BYWAY
Roll down 47 miles of history on the Copper Country Trail National Byway along the Keweenaw. You’ll follow the historic copper mines that flow deep underground while you experience the communities that still live on. Stop by local restaurants and breweries, shop in quaint stores and art galleries, and even make time for a local festival or two along the way.
Are you ready for an adventure?