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Trails

 

Our Trails are closed for regular firearm deer hunting season (nov. 15-30). Please check the trail status page for important information before you visit!

Ride. Hike. Ski. Adventure.

Riders on Garden BrookWhen you visit the Copper Harbor Trails, expect some of the funnest, gnarliest, and most scenic trails around. Don't just take our word for it: we're an IMBA Silver Level Ride Center for a reason!  Epic vistas, rugged trails, exceptional fun, and a community focused on making your trip north awesome all contribute to what makes our trails such an excellent adventure. Located at the northern tip of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, the Copper Harbor Trails are the quintessential destination for the silent sports enthusiast. Tucked away from the commotion of everyday life, the Copper Harbor Trails provide you with the perfect adventure, combining exhilarating singletrack with the natural beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula.  You'd be hard-pressed to find an area that's easier to escape into than the backcountry of the Keweenaw

The Copper Harbor Trail system provides over 37 miles of singletrack amid miles of untamed forestland dotted with unique geological features overlooking Lake Superior.  While the majority of our trails are optomized for mountain biking, our trails are open to all non-motorized human-powered activities, including hiking, trail running, bird watching, rock hounding, berry picking, photography, skiing, snowshoeing, or really any activity powered by your own two feet (or hands!).  Trails are accessible from several locations throughout the Copper Harbor area.  There is no charge for use - please help support the trails by donating today! 

Mountain Biking at Copper Harbor

Our trails showcase a variety of riding options including downhill tracks, flow trails, traditional cross country, and burly technical options.  The majority of our trails are classified as intermediate (blue square), ranging from fast flow trails like Garden Brook to old-school chunky routes like Here We Go.  Given our epic terrain, it's no surprise that we have many expert-level trails (black diamond) as well.  Get your big hits on Overflow and Flying Squirrel or test out your technical skills on the downright brutal Paul's Plunge or Red Trail.  Last but certainly not least, we have been adding more easy trails in recent years for our newer and less adventurous riders.  The Back 9 Trails at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge offer a few loops through the forest, while other options at Fort Wilkins allow you to explore this history of the area from the comfort of your bike. More easy trails are on the way in the next few years to connect these and other destinations in the area.

Van shuttles are available on certain days to bring riders to the high points of the trail system atop Brockway Mountain and the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.  Service is offered through the Keweenaw Adventure Company for a reasonable fee.  Our organization does not operate any shuttles and all of our core terrain is accessible via the trails or public roadways.  Nearly all trails in our system can be ridden in either direction, and uphill riders always have the right-of-way.

Hiking our forests

For the same reasons that mountain biking in Copper Harbor is such a draw, our area's hiking options are equally incredible.  Almost all of the Copper Harbor Trails are open for hiking, with the exception of a few downhill-only trails that are too dangerous to hike on.  Everywhere else is fair game.  Depending on the day you may encounter more mountain bike traffic on certain trails. When shuttles are running many trails coming off of Brockway Mountain will be busier, including Garden Brook, Woopidy Woo, and The Flow.  Many of the older trails on the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge side of the system see less traffic and are more conducive to a silent hike in the woods.  Berry patches are scattered across the entire area, but good luck getting us to tell you where the best place to pick is!

Beyond the immediate vicinity of Copper Harbor are even grander trails that would make anyone's hometown jealous.  Pick up a copy of the Walking Paths & Protected Places of the Keweenaw for a great guide with a long list of places to explore within a few miles of downtown!

ETIQUETTE

In an effort to keep our trails open for as many people in our community as possible, we ask that you follow a few simple rules to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time when visiting Copper Harbor.

  1. Mountain bikers yield to hikers.
  2. Ride in control and within your ability.
  3. Uphill traffic has the right-of-way.
  4. Respect wildlife.
  5. Keep your dogs leashed.
  6. No E-bikes.
  7. Heed trail closure notices.
  8. Plan ahead for anything.
  9. Obey the rules of the road.
  10. Be respectful.

Following these guidelines will allow us to keep doing what we're doing, which is offering you top-notch trail experiences in a charming, welcoming town.  Don't be that person who ruins it for everyone.  Help us maintain our goodwill with the community! Read more about these etiquette guidelines here.

WARNINGS & HAZARDS

Our trails are free and open to the public for all human-powered users.  The system contains both natural and man-made features.  While many boardwalks and bridges are relatively close to the ground, others can reach over 10' high and should be used with caution.  Terrain changes constantly due to weather and use.  Please pay attention to moisture levels because wooden features can become very slippery when wet.  Our trails DO NOT close because of rain - figuring out when a trail feature is safe enough to ride is up to you.  Always stay in control and within your ability.  If you are uncertain, please dismount and walk your bike.  Dogs are welcome but should be on a leash or under your direct control.  Remember, all use of our trails is at the individual's own risk!

Due to frequent high winds in the area, you may encouter downed trees on the trail. Please proceed with caution and report any trail concerns to the Keweenaw Adventure Company or call (906) 289-4788. You can also send us a note online.

Winter Trail Use

The Copper Harbor Trails Club is committed to providing recreational opportunities year-round for those looking to get outdoors - even during the winter months!  All of our trails are open in the wintertime for backcountry exploration on snowshoes or skis.  As of the winter of 2020-21, most of our trails are not blazed so finding your way may be more difficult.  A few snowshoe loops are marked near the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, otherwise prepare to find your own way everywhere else.

Nordic & Fat Bike Trails: The trailhead for the nordic trails is located behind the Copper Harbor Welcome Center.  Laminated maps are posted along the trail. The trails around town are generally flat and stretch from Trails End Campground to Fort Wilkins Historic State Park.  They do not yet traverse our woods trails, which are too steep or narrow for grooming equipment.  All groomed winter trails in town also allow for snowshoers and dogs.  

Additional groomed XC ski trails can be found near the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.  Visit their website for more information on grooming conditions and maps of available routes for the 2020-2021 winter season.

In 2019-20, volunteers began grooming trails out to the Horseshoe Harbor parking area as well as up East Bluff.  This is being done on an experimental basis to gauge what it would take to groom a more robust network into the deep backcountry.  Follow their progress and get periodic updates on grooming conditions over at CH Snow.  

OTHER TRAILs in the Copper Country 

Our trails might be the furthest from just about anywhere in Michigan, but that doesn't mean they're the only ones in the area!  The Keweenaw Peninsula is blanketed with fun and diverse trails, from hand-built technical trails among the mine ruins at Adventure Mine to the prime ski trails hosted by Michigan Tech.  Check out all that these systems have to offer and add them to your next trip north.

Interactive Trail Map

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