In the native Ojibwe language “Keweenaw” roughly translates to “the crossing place” and today, its natural beauty and history draw people seeking to experience outdoor adventure in a rugged, remote wilderness setting.
The Keweenaw Peninsula is in the heart of Lake Superior in the northern most part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Travelers can reach the Keweenaw by land via US 41 or M-26. It is about 2 hours away from Marquette, MI and about 4 hours away from Green Bay, WI. As the locals say, no one gets to the Keweenaw by accident.
The Keweenaw region has several small towns which formed around the area’s copper mining industry during the 1900s. The cities of Houghton and Hancock, connected by the Portage Lake Lift Bridge spanning the Keweenaw Waterway, are the largest communities. Smaller towns, like Calumet, Chassell, Copper Harbor, Eagle Harbor, and Eagle River, have their own personalities and ways to experience UP north. Many are located along the Keweenaw’s 125 miles of Lake Superior shoreline with town-specific trail systems to explore during the summer and winter.
Isle Royale National Park is located within Keweenaw County. A wilderness haven in the middle of Lake Superior, visitors can take ferries from Houghton and Copper Harbor to reach the national park. Seaplane services can also found in Hancock for visitors seeking a quicker trip to the island.
The Keweenaw is home to hundreds of miles of outdoor recreation trails, countless beaches and waterfalls, and thousands of acres of pristine wildness perfect for summer and winter outdoor activities. While many visitors enjoy explore the Keweenaw’s backcountry, the areas collection of national, state and local parks offers access to an abundant collection of natural and historical attractions.
The Keweenaw is also well known for its collection of historical attractions which preserve the region’s copper mining heritage. The Keweenaw National Historical Park, along with a collection of 20+ heritage sites allow visitors to explore the region’s history and the industry’s impact on the land and people. Popular experiences include tours of the Quincy Mine and Delaware Mine, the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, lighthouse tours and local museums.