Of the places within a few hours drive of Longview Farm, Copper Harbor, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is certainly in the top tier of our “places to see” list. One of the reasons this is true is that even the drive up to Copper Harbor is enjoyable and entertaining. In fact, when our kids were growing up, our family had a yearly tradition of spending 1-2 weeks in this great, unspoiled region of our vacation land. For starters, you will travel through the historic areas of L’Anse, Houghton, Hancock, and Calumet. There is a rich history of the mining and the shipping legacy of this part of the world. Being surrounded by Lake Superior offers fantastic views and stories.

Then, once we arrive in the Copper Harbor area, I could just begin to detail all the things to do and places to go, even in the immediate area of Copper Harbor. Let’s start with great food. You will not find fast food places, but you will find great local establishments that have an enjoyable atmosphere and friendly people.  The Mariner North and the Tamarack Inn are two examples of good eating. The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge has food, lodging, and a golf course that winds around the mountainside.

HIKING in Copper Harbor

If you like to hike, Copper Harbor has an almost unlimited supply of options. You can (and must) do the local mountain view (Brockway Mountain) along with climbing in and out of all the inlets and breath-taking beauty of the western side of the peninsula.  Brockway Mountain   If you check out Brockway Mountain in early October, you will look down on almost endless carpet of colors. You also may want to check out historic Fort Wilkins (a restored 1844 army base).  Then too, you should take the ferry over to Isle Royale National Park where only bikes and foot travel are allowed. You can stay the night and enjoy the beauty of this pristine island. If you want to try the backwoods, there are old mines, historic stands of hardwood trees, and more.  Isle Royale

What makes this peninsula unique is that on the western side, Lake Superior is almost entirely fascinating rocks with large veins of copper and iron going out to sea. Being large enough to have tides, this lake also crushes and softens the rocks into beautiful shapes. On the east side, the lake boasts some of the whitest and quietest beaches we have seen since living in Haiti. AMAZING. Having a bonfire and cookout on the beach is a treat.  What is our favorite memory? Hard to say. Walking down the street and running into one of the local bears was memorable: he was rather friendly though.

Copper Harbor and Lighthouses

One last thought about the coastline. If you enjoy history and lighthouses, then you have to do the lighthouse tour of this peninsula. “Along the U.P.’s Great Lakes coasts you will find more than 40 lighthouses, most built in the mid 1800s. Many continue to guide ships and boats safely into harbors and around dangerous shoals.” – See more at: Lighthouses

 

copper harbor 3

Copper Harbor East shore

     Copper Harbor   West Coastline

West Coastline

Copper Harbor area lighthouse