Day 1: Exploring the Copper Harbor area on the north side of the peninsula
Welcome to the beautiful Keweenaw! This Copper Harbor Trip Guide explores waterfalls, nature sanctuaries, old-growth forests, delicious local food, and more.
Pack binoculars (grab some from the cabin if you don’t have your own!) and wear some sturdy shoes. We recommend layering up as the weather can turn on a dime here.
Breakfast at Jamsen’s: Kick off your day with some sustenance and coffee at Jamsen’s Fish Market and Bakery, located at the waterfront landing in Copper Harbor. They’re famous for their freshly baked goods made with love from local ingredients.
⌚ 15 minutes is plenty for a to-go breakfast.
[HIKE/EXPLORE] Hunter’s Point: Visible from Jamsen’s and just five minutes down the road is Hunter’s Point—a 9.4-acre narrow finger of land that protects Copper Harbor from the storms of Lake Superior. It features a loop trail, pebbly beaches, and spectacular views of the lake. Bird watching, photography, and studying the many colorful and unique rock formations are just a few ways to enjoy this peaceful place.
⌚ You could easily spend 1-2 hours exploring here.
[PIT STOP] Manganese Falls: On the way from Hunter’s Point to Estivant Pines, it’s worth checking out Manganese Falls. From a viewing platform just off the road, you’ll get a peek-a-boo view of the falls dropping 100 feet down a steep gorge through rock walls and fallen boulders. Some folks seeking a better view hike a little ways downstream.
⌚ 5-minute pitstop, or longer if you hike down.
[HIKE] Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary: Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary is one of the Minnesota Nature Association’s most popular sanctuaries. Come for nature walks through one of the last old-growth white pine stands in Michigan, growing more than 125 feet tall and dating back 300 years. Stay for the 85 species of birds, beautiful wildflowers, and a wide variety of ferns covering the forest floor.
⌚ 45 minutes to an hour is great.
[BIKE] Beginner Mountain Bike Tour: Explore Copper Harbor’s world-class mountain bike trails with the folks who know them best at Keweenaw Adventure Company! Whether you’re a novice rider (or a family of novices!) who’d like to learn, practice or refine some basic skills or an experienced rider wanting a local’s knowledge of the 38 mile plus trail system, our mountain bike tour groups are small and can be geared towards any level and ambition.
⌚ 2.5 hours for the guided tour.
Fish Truck for Lunch: Head back into Copper Harbor for the best fish tacos of your life at Captain Matt’s Fish and Chips, aka “Fish Truck.” Fresh Lake Superior whitefish served al fresco has given Fish Truck a cult following of both locals and tourists alike. If you’re feeling like a beer to wash down your meal, head next door to Brickside Brewery, and Matt will deliver your meal to you there.
⌚ 30 minutes is plenty, or tack on some more time to hang at the brewery.
[EXPLORE] Fort Wilkins Historic State Park: Home to one of Lake Superior’s first lighthouses—the Copper Harbor Lighthouse built in 1866—this 700-acre park is rich with historical significance. Several buildings from the original Fort Wilkins erected there in 1844 are still preserved today and are staffed by costumed personnel who portray Army life during the fort’s final summer as an active post.
⌚ 1 hour is plenty, more if you’re a history buff.
[PADDLE] Porter’s Island Paddle: Following some basic skills led by the Keweenaw Adventure Company team, test your paddling skills in and around the waters of Copper Harbor. Explore ancient rock shoreline, an uninhabited island, and learn about the history of the largest, natural harbor on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
⌚ 2.5 hours for the paddle, another 30 minutes to explore the shore.
[HIKE/EXPLORE] Mary Macdonald Preserve at Horseshoe Harbor: Hiking shoes are recommended for walking the trails and shoreline of this preserve. This 1,200-acre Nature Conservancy preserve has five miles of Lake Superior shoreline and is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, including 11 threatened or rare species. The ancient bedrock that makes up the beach draws beachcombers and the trails into the forest make for excellent birdwatching.
⌚ 2 hours can easily fly by here.
[SCENIC VIEW] High Rock Bay: 4×4 Required: If you’re traveling in a 4×4 vehicle, you can hop onto the beginning of Highway 41 for eight miles down a bumpy dirt road through the forest. Your reward will be a stunning panoramic view of Lake Superior and Manitou Island at the very tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
⌚ It can take up to 45 minutes each way to get out there, depending on how you drive.
Dinner at Harbor Haus: Harbor Haus is a German/Austrian-themed restaurant and bar offering up delicious fresh food and beautiful views of the lake from every table. Their spectacular outdoor patio is perfect for an afternoon drink and appetizers after a long day of hiking. If you’re there for dinner, you might catch the wait staff performing a ritualistic dance to welcome home the boaters when they re-enter the harbor. This occurs outside on the patio between 6:00 and 6:30 pm on days the Isle Royale Queen is running.
⌚ Plan to take your time and enjoy the views.
Fresh Coast Cabins: Welcome home! We hope you enjoyed our Copper Harbor Trip Guide.
About Keweenaw Peninsula Trip Guides
Whether you’re planning your first trip to the Keweenaw or you’re a repeat visitor, our curated trip guides will inspire you to get out and get moving. Each day is packed with adventures like hikes, waterfalls, nature sanctuaries, local history, and of course–delicious local food and drinks. All you have to do is book your cabin and show up!
Keweenaw Peninsula Trip Guides were curated by Fresh Coast Cabins + Friends. Collectively, we have over 10 years of time spent on these roads, in these woods, and supporting this community.