Copper Harbor, MI
The Copper Harbor trail system is located 50 miles north of Houghton, MI at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Trailheads are located within the village at the Copper Harbor Welcome Center and one mile south of town at the county-owned Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, off of US Hwy 41.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is a narrow finger of land that juts about 60 miles into the center of the world’s largest fresh-water sea, Lake Superior. Surrounded by this greatest of all of the Lakes on three sides, the Big Lake’s influence has a profound effect on the weather, keeping the summers cool and pleasant and the winters relatively warm with abundant snowfall
Copper Harbor is the low point of elevation situated at Lake Superior level, while the Mountain Lodge is at the high point, 550’ above. Five separate primarily two-way trails link the village and the summit with options of valley and ridgeline routes over a 360 degree radius of the “Keweenaw Mountain”. The terrain consists of a series of undulating ridges and valleys and has sustained climbs & descents up to 3 miles in a stretch.
Copper Harbor’s trails showcase superb, scenic views above Lake Superior. Extensive singletrack over cedar-planked bridges and boardwalks, winds through old growth forests, along streams, inland lakes and places of historical significance amidst the purest, most vitalizing air on earth to make this a must ride on any avid mountain bikers’ “to do” list.
The Copper Harbor Trails Club (CHTC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization and oversees the maintenance, development, marking, mapping and insurance of the entire trail system. The Club has an on-going relationship and continuous dialog with a number of bordering land owners whose combined properties compose the trail system. Additionally, the CHTC is working on a major land acquisition campaign in association with Keweenaw County to purchase up to 1900 acres of adjoining timber management owned property to secure and expand a long-range, year-round, human-powered trail network adjacent to the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.
Directions to Trailhead: Once you arrive in Houghton and cross the lift bridge to Hancock, highways US-41 and M-26 split, but they both inevitably end up in Copper Harbor. They meet back together at Calumet then split again at Phoenix at this point M-26 is known as Lakeshore Drive and takes the lake route all the way to Copper Harbor - US-41 goes through the center of the peninsula and the "tree tunnel" also ending in Copper Harbor. Both routes are very scenic and we recommend you take one coming and one leaving!
Best Season: End of May through October.
Camping: Fort Wilkens State Park.
Length: 15 miles of singletrack.
Altitude: N/A (no altitude)
Terrain: Fast flowing singletrack, technical rock features, contour climbs and super G bermed descents. Large wooden features that are rideable by all levels of cyclists.
Host Club: Copper Harbor Trails Club
Land Managing Agency: Land owners/land management agencies include the State of Michigan/DNR, Keweenaw County, Grant Township, Michigan Nature Association, the Fort Wilkins Gardens Conservancy and a timber management company/CFR land…the trails traverse almost seamlessly from one neighboring property to the next and together form an entire conservation and recreational corridor.
Epic Ride consists of these trails (in sequence): Copper Harbor Loop, Garden Brook, Woopidy Woo, Garden Brook, Blue Trail, Dza Beet, Here We Go, Ma Maki, Say Hello, Dza Beet, Simeh, De Deet, Red Trail, Clark Mine Road, Pauls Plunge, John Lincoln Green, Manganese Road, Ma Maki, Der we Went, Stairway to Heaven, Copper Harbor Loop to Trail Head.