Current Trail Status: Closed for Mountain Biking. Soon!
Spring is here! The relatively short 2020-21 winter is quickly winding its way down and the snow is on the retreat. However, that doesn't mean our trails are trails are open yet. We need several weeks of warm, dry weather just to get rid of the snow that buries our trails each year. The sunny south-facing slopes might appear clear, but to get there you have to traverse the deep, shaded valleys that retain snow for a lot longer.
When will our trails open? Not sure yet! If we don't get much more snow and warmer weather sticks around, we could open in late-April at the earliest. This is not a guarantee and you should not plan your trip around this estimate. Once the snow is gone, we still have to get volunteers out to clear the trails, not to mention waiting for the mud to dry out. If we get another round of winter weather, this estimate could slip. Our trail opening date will be shared here once we know when that will be!
Volunteer Workday Dates:
April 18th (Sunday): 10 AM - 3 PM, focusing more on chainsawing, branch clearing, and lopping. Bring a chainsaw if you've got one! Plan to meet at the Trails End Campground just west of Copper Harbor on M-26.
April 24th (Saturday): 10 AM - 3 PM, focusing on clearing the small debris. Leaf blowers are key, and rakes work in a pinch. Bring a leaf blower if you have one and a rake if not. Plan to meet at the Trails End Campground just west of Copper Harbor on M-26.
Current closures: Our trails are currently closed for to mountain bikers due to lingering snow, mud, and downed trees from the winter. We'll open once our workdays are completed and trail conditions satisfactory.
Even though we're at the end of the road in the U.P., we are not immune from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses closed temporarily, schools shuttered, and people quickly moved to working from home in an effort to halt the virus in its tracks. As with everything related to this potentially deadly illness, we ask that you follow some simple recommendations and guidelines to keep yourself, your friends, and our community healthy.
- If you have recently been ill, near someone that was ill, or are not feeling 100%, please refrain from traveling. There is no shame in staying at home until you feel well.
- Local businesses are trying their best to balance personal safety while welcoming customers. Respect businesses that require masks to be worn. It’s not a major burden and does a lot to show that you care not only about those around you, but also our trails. Our community and trails cannot thrive if we are battling a potentially deadly virus, nor can you visit if we are down for the count. Many in our community are at-risk; treat them as you would your friends or family.
- Local businesses are constantly adapting to changing regulations and are doing their best to keep their staff and patrons healthy and their establishment viable. Hours and availability are subject to change and will likely be different than in years past. Check-in before you go to ensure you are familiar with the current situation.
- Lodging may be scarce due to overwhelming demand to escape to rural areas perceived to be less risky for travel. If you cannot make a reservation, consider visiting at a less-busy time of year. Fewer people = lower risk = more fun on the trails.
- The public restrooms in the visitor center are closed until further notice. Port-a-potties are available near the park. Be advised that you should bring extra water with you in case it is not available in the usual public spaces.
On-Trail COVID-19 Safety
If you do find yourself in Copper Harbor, there are some simple things you can do to keep you and others safe. You are probably doing many of these things already! The rest are easy to implement into your routine and will benefit all of us if followed correctly.
- Keep your distance: Maintain at least 6’ distance from those around you not in your immediate party.
- Pass safely: If approaching another trail user from behind, call out ahead of time that you would like to pass. Give them time to find a suitable location to do so safely, and do not tailgate them closely. If approaching head on, stop well ahead and coordinate a pass. When passing, try to maintain at least 6’ distance. This may require stepping off of the trail in a safe area.
- Dial down the rad factor: Now is not the time to try anything new or outside your comfort zone. Not only will your injury put essential emergency personnel at risk, it will draw away resources from potentially treating patients with COVID-19. Save that big jump for another day.
- Pack a mask: Be sure to have a mask with you in case you need to interact with others on the trail. This is particularly important if you must assist with an injury or are injured yourself.
- Break wisely: If you pause to take a break, be sure to allow ample space for people to pass outside of the 6’ buffer.