The Keweenaw of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Rugged Coastline along Upper Peninsula

Keweenaw Peninsula and Copper Harbor

The Keweenaw of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula projects into Lake Superior. It was the site of the first copper boom in the United States. Called “Copper Country,” it has a colorful history of hardworking immigrants who carved themselves a place in this wild country.

Rugged Coastline along Upper Peninsula
Shoreline of Lake Superior in Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Copper Harbor is a small town at the extreme point of the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The town’s name gives evidence to the former use.  That is, its harbor was a port for shipping copper mined from local deposits during the mid-19th century. That economic activity no longer exists and the town’s harbor is mostly used for recreational endeavors such as snowmobiling and sightseeing.

The town is in an area of scenic beauty. It is the northern terminus of US Highway 41 and the eastern terminus of State Route 26. Both approaches to Copper Harbor, the shore hugging State Route 26 from Eagle Harbor and the more inland US 41, offer excellent views of the countryside. So does the 10-mile Brockway Mountain Drive off M 26, which has several pullouts that afford scenic views. At the top of Brockway Mountain (1328 feet) visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Lake Superior and some of the inland lakes of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park and Beyond

Fort Wilkins State Historic State Park is near Copper Harbor. It is a restored 1844 frontier army base originally built to protect the port in the early years of the copper mining boom. It has one of the first lighthouses on Lake Superior, Copper Harbor Lighthouse. However, the lighthouse is accessible only by boat but is no longer open for tours.

Beyond Fort Wilkins Historic State Park visitors can follow Manganese Road from the town’s center to Manganese Falls and Lake. Farther, Estivant Pines Wilderness Nature Sanctuary has 350 acres of some of the oldest and tallest remaining strands of virgin white pines located in Michigan. Three loop trail combinations give hikers a choice of one mile to two and a half mile loops over rugged terrain. Besides the old growth pines, there are at least 256 plant species with ten species of orchids. There are also over eighty bird species and large mammals. The trail is a part of the Michigan Nature Association Sanctuary.

Lake Fanny Hooe Campground

The Lake Fanny Hooe (pronounced Ho) Resort and Campground is an excellent place to camp during a visit. It offers access to the lake and is nearby all the attractions of Copper Harbor. It is an easy drive to other points of interest of the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan. They include the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, the Delaware Copper Mine, and the Great Sand Bay.

This photograph and others are available at James Richardson’s Fine Art America site.

Here is how Shoreline of Lake Superior would look over your couch:

Shoreline of Lake Superior over your couch

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