Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula extends well out into Lake Superior from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is dotted with iron ore and copper mines which dominated the economy in the 1800s. Today the area is a tourist and sportsmen playground with beachfront resorts, mountain top drives, and beautiful scenery. The Quincy mine is now a national historic landmark and can be toured. Those headed to Isle Royale National Park can hop on a ferry to the island from Houghton or Copper Harbor, the most northern town in Michigan.
Spring U.P. Road Trip to the Keweenaw
It was a free Saturday while picking up our son at Northern Michigan University. He wanted to skip the graduation walk and do a road trip with the old folks. We were honored. My wife had never ventured to one of the remotest regions of Michigan, the tip of the Upper Peninsula in Keweenaw county. Despite a fair amount of snow still, on the ground, we agreed to strike out for a bit of an adventure that morning.
Bishop Fredrick Baraga – The Snowshoe Priest
It was a two-hour drive to reach Baraga. We stopped and stretched our legs at Shrine of Bishop Baraga. Here you can check out a copper statue that is over 35 feet tall and weighs in at over four tons. The Snowshoe Priest looks out over Keweenaw Bay. The view is spectacular. Refreshed we pressed on to Houghton/ Hancock. This is the home of Michigan Technological University and the birthplace of professional hockey. From there we hit numerous little towns that dotted the copper ridge of the peninsula. These towns sprung up around the copper mines that drove shafts 100s of feet to reach the rich copper ore. Both the Quincey and Delaware mines have tours when the season starts in mid May.
Michigan’s Northern Most Point at Copper Harbor
We reached Copper Harbor at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula and caught a late lunch at the Mariner. There were not too many places open at the end of the road but the food was delicious.
We took a few shots at the harbor. Fighting our way to the water’s edge with two feet of hard-packed snow still in place. Then drove down past Eagle Harbor, and Eagle River and Calumet before making our way back to Marquette. It was a lot of driving but resulted in a great road trip up into Keweenaw Michigan.
Related Links and Stories for Michigans Keweenaw Peninsula
- The End of the 3000 Mile Beer
- An Isle Royale Adventure for Older Adults
- Farming Challenges of Great Lakes Cleanup
- The Legend of Whiskey Harbor During Michigan Prohibition