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ABOVE: Tourists enjoy the view from Brockway Mountain Lookout during fall color season

Incredibly beautiful no matter what time of year, Copper Harbor is an amazing playground for the outdoor enthusiast.

By Dom Santina, Contributing Writer

If you want to go to the farthest north place you can go to the state of Michigan. Then you will find yourself in the city of Copper Harbor, Michigan. The town is located on the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The city has about 100 current yearly residents, while it moves close to 300 residents when there is no snow. The Copper Harbor is the furthest city away from an United States Interstate, at approximately 5 hours. Which makes it the perfect place to find room on the asphalt and take your ORV on to some trails. 

The downtown area is 10 blocks long by 3 blocks wide, which makes it walkable from about any location. The main downtown area of Copper Harbor features shops, restaurants, a microbrewery and a grocery store. Since the city only has roughly 100 year-round residents, all of the restaurants and shops are locally owned. This allows the retailers to embrace the genuine Upper Peninsula hospitality that they are known for. 

Copper Harbor is anchored by Fort Wilkins State Park to the east and Hunter’s Point Township Park to the west of town. 

The city also features quite a few different lodging options which range from renting a cabin to motels and resorts. The Mariner North Resort and the Lake Fanny Hooe Resort are open as year-round resorts. There are other options available and can be found at copperharbor.com/places-to-stay. 

ORV Riding

When you are five hours from the nearest Interstate, it makes it possible to have a lot of room to break out your ORV and have some fun. The Keweenaw Peninsula has ORV trails that run throughout the Peninsula. The trails come out to a total of 160 miles. 

Many of the trails offer a variety of different sights along your ride, that can be from the shore of Lake Superior to driving through ghost towns. Most of the trails have taken over railroad grades that were once made for transporting wood or iron ore. 

One of the most picture perfect places, comes when you take the trail to High Rock Bay from Copper Harbor. This trail will take you to some amazing views of Lake Superior. The trail is very rarely used by tourists and takes you through old logging trails for that perfect photo op location. 

Copper Harbor also has multiple locations for fueling up your ORV, which will conviently get you on your way to explore and enjoy this pristine area.

Take time to visit some of the mining ghost towns located throughout the peninsula.These lonely outposts once thrived during the mining era but have since almost disappeared back into the their primative surroundings. 

While exploring old mining towns and gorgeous scenery make sure to include the many waterfalls throughout the area. 

Eagle River falls
Eagle River falls

Waterfalls 

Manganese Falls – A waterfall that is not far from downtown, Manganese Falls allows for some easy sight-seeing. The waterfall is located on Second Street, just a half mile south of Gratiot. There are other trails that parallel the falls, which allows for some awesome spectating. While the falls are smaller, they can still provide a beautiful view.

Silver River Falls – is located 9.5 miles away from Copper Harbor on the Silver River. An easy trail and a few walking steps lead you to a nice cross bridge as well. The upper falls offers a pretty impressive display with over a thirty foot drop.

 Jacob’s Falls – At almost double the length of Silver River Falls, the 18 mile hike west of Copper Harbor can make for a longer day. The waterfall is located just beyond Great Sand Bay. The falls can be seen from the road, but are more impressive in person than from a vehicle. 

Eagle River Falls – The river spans over 60 feet wide. The actual location of the falls is on the original Lake Superior Fuse Company. The falls flow over rocks and rejoin the river at the deep gorge. 

Haven Falls – A remote but easy to get to waterfall. The falls are fed by Haven Creek and are located on Lac La Belle. The waterfall area also is nice for a picnic area and rustic restrooms as well. The falls are roughly 20 feet high. 

Montreal Falls – The falls are located right on the Montreal River and make their way to Lake Superior. The falls are more rugged and cascade over volcanic rocks. The waterfalls continue to have amazing views that not only let you see the falls but all the area to the south. The park also offers a few flat ground camping sites on the shore of the waterfall. The camping area includes fire rings and a beach for kayakers. 

Copper Falls – the final waterfall of the tour is the Copper Falls waterfall, which is roughly 200 feet. The falls make up a bulk of Owl Creek as the creek makes its way to Lake Superior. There is an old mine entrance which is not big enough to look in or to fall into. The creekbed continues to move downstream with multiple rock formations and tiny tributaries. When going upstream from Eagle Harbor Cutoff Road, has a number of drops, including wide plunges over slanted rock and some broken spurs. When you go downstream, the river deepens. 

So whether you are hanging out and just relaxing, to just going for the casual cruise in your ORV, to rugged off roading or want to explore other area attractions, Copper Harbor has all those options to offer you and more. •

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