incredible trails that cannot be beaten!
Cross Country | Downhill | Jump | Flow
It's no secret that the Copper Harbor Trails have some of the best mountain biking in the Midwest. Just ask IMBA - we've been near the top of their recommendation list for well over a decade, earning accolades across the board including Epic Ride and as a Silver Level Ride Center. If you're looking for the widest variety of trails in the wildest of settings, you've come to the right place. From blistering downhill runs to gentler flowy rides, there is literally something for everyone. Best of all, it'll feel like you have it (almost) all to yourself no matter how busy town gets.
Our landscape is a major reason why people come from near and far to ride in Copper Harbor. Want to ride all afternoon and emerge onto an unspoiled lakeshore with lighthouses far in the distance? We've got that. Big views from epic vistas? There are too many to count. Winding rivers? Lakes full of wildlife? Waterfalls? Towering trees? Berry patches a'plenty? Check, check, and triple check. It's rare to have so many natural wonders in our midst and you can easily access the best of them from our trails.
Mountain biking in Copper Harbor is unlike a lot of other trail systems you may have ridden, and not just because cell service is still almost completely non-existent this far into the 21st century. Let's just say our trails can be... tough. If you're unfamiliar with what the Lake Superior region's trails have to offer, we encourage you to brush up on what we have going on before riding headlong into the forests.
Cross Country Trails
It's hard to say what trails Copper Harbor is best known for, so we'll start our list alphabetically. Coincidentally, some of our first trails were good ol' fashioned XC routes that continue to entertain (and challenge) riders to this day. These trails were hand-built and can be quite rugged. Blue Trail, Ma Maki, Dza Beet, and others fall into this category. Expect lots of roots, rocks, flat corners, and questionable choices as far as drainage is concerned. Don't be too intimidated, because they're still a riot to ride on. These trails are typically all Blue Square (intermediate difficulty), though Mango strays into Black Diamond (most difficult) terrain.
Other fun cross country routes include the Keweenaw Point Trail, an XC rider's dream as you make your way to Lake Superior. An out and back from Copper Harbor on the KPT to High Rock will put you in the 20+ mile range, so be prepared! And how could we forget about good ol' Red Trail? Possibly the oldest trail in our network (it was first used in the 1930s), Red Trail holds a special place in everyone's heart as a trail that should absolutely be respected. It's a solid Black Diamond and has more big rock drops, rolls, skinny bridges, and other features to trip you up than anywhere else in Copper Harbor. Your trails back home wish they were this mean.
Example XC Trails at Copper Harbor: Keweenaw Point Trail, Highlands, Magic Carpet, Paul's Plunge (mostly upper), Mango, Snowshoe Trail, Ma Maki, Say Hello, Dza Beet, Simeh, Blue Trail, Red Trail, Dancing Bear, Bullwinkle, The Flow, East Woopidy Woo, Moose on the Loose, Little Loon, Chipmunk Run.
Some of our most challenging trails in the system are our expert-level downhill trails, Overflow and Citrus Tech. If you've looked up the Copper Harbor Trails on YouTube or watched footage from our races, you've probably seen the epic ride that is Overflow. The Gap Jump is a signature feature and should only be attempted by the most capable riders. Likewise, the line down the near-cliff that is Manpants should strike fear into the heart of riders who are unprepared. Citrus Tech, with its more technically-focused features, is a similarly difficult challenge for expert riders only. Both Overflow and Citrus Tech are much bigger, badder, and potentially dangerous than the double-black diamond trails you have back home. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Want a fun downhill challenge without the severe pucker factor? Give East Bluff's Flo'Rion a try. It's a solid intermediate level trail that trades the mandatory jumps and huge rolldowns for optional features and more manageable descents that will itch your desire to feel like a badass without needing to fill out a will first. We can't all be Evel Knieval here.
Example Downhill Trails at Copper Harbor: Overflow, Flo'Rion, Citrus Tech, Whipsaw.
Often lumped in with our faster downhill trails, Copper Harbor's jump trails give mountain bikers the perfect place to get some air. Our signature trail here is Danimal, which features medium to large-sized jumps as well as two significant drops for extra excitement. Recently rebuilt in 2020, Danimal is about as fine as it gets but should only be attempted by expert-level riders keen on getting airborne. Our second expert-level jump trail, Flying Squirrel, has significant built features for achieving maximum air under your wheels. It is slated for an upgrade in 2022 so stay tuned for even more fun soon. Rolling these trails ahead of time is advised. Do not attempt these trails if you cannot handle 3'+ mandatory drops.
Not interested in going into orbit but want that butterfly feeling in your stomach? Daisy Dukes is the answer! It's a small-jump trail perfect for those intermediate riders just getting into jumps, rollers, and tight, fast berms. Daisy Dukes also is on the list of trails to be updated in 2022 to rebuild the lips and clear up the bumps. Be sure to check our Trail Status page for possible construction-related closures.
If you're interested in getting some 'real air' without going too big, there's yet another new option for you: Bluejay Picnic. Completed at the tail end of the fall in 2021, this trail is set for its innaugural runs in 2022. Featuring medium-sized jumps, rippin' fast berms, and a sedate climb along a beautiful creek, Bluejay Picnic will excite you without the extreme terror that our bigger options can induce. All features have ride-arounds and there are no mandatory drops to worry about. Find it near the entrance to the East Bluff Bike Park.
Example Jump Trails at Copper Harbor: Flying Squirrel, Danimal, Daisy Dukes, Bluejay Picnic.
The bread and butter of our system are our impeccable flow trails. You'll find miles of flowy trails zipping up and down the hills and valleys of Copper Harbor. Almost all are geared for intermediate riders, meaning just about everyone can find something to enjoy. Even beginner riders can find a few easier options at the Back 9 Trails near the KML!
What is a flow trail exactly, and what makes them so fun? These trails get their name from the liquid-like nature of how they traverse the landscape. Unlike tougher trails that fight the landscape, flow trails work with it to give you an experience that will have you grinning from ear to ear. Wide, swooping berms allow you to take corners comfortably at any speed. Rollers give you that floating feeling on the ups, and a speed boost on the way down. A well-designed flow trail will make climbing a breeze by offering you plenty of opportunities for quick downhill rest breaks in between relatively gentle rises.
Copper Harbor's flow trails are as diverse as the ecosystems they inhabit. Ride the aptly-named The Flow from the top of Brockway Mountain to the bottom, a 3-mile journey full of immense Lake Superior views. Similarly, Garden Brook is a feast for the senses as you speedily climb or descend, this time following the creek of the same name. Woopidy Woo's two flavors (west and east) give you a taste of how different flow trails can be. Bullwinkle, Cabin Life, Dancing Bear, Magic Carpet... the list goes on and on. You'll just have to try them all to find out which one you like best!
Example Flow Trails at Copper Harbor: Raptor Ridge, The Flow, West Woopidy Woo, Garden Brook, Bullwinkle, Cabin Life, Flo'Rion, Whipsaw, Summer School, Keweenaw Point Trail (middle portions nearer to East Bluff), Highlands