Our trails are Open! Please check the trail status page for more Specific information.
Mountain Biking | Hiking | Etiquette | Warnings | Winter Trails
Ride. Hike. Ski. Adventure.
When 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 nearly 40 miles of singletrack amid miles of untamed forestland dotted with unique geological features overlooking Lake Superior. While the majority 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!). Horses are not permitted. 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!
CHTC acknowledges that the Keweenaw is part of the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands and waters of the Anishinaabeg - the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi peoples and their many more-than-human relatives. This landscape lies within the ceded-territory homelands established by the Treaty of 1842 where 11 Lake Superior Bands of Ojibwa (Chippewa) retain rights and responsibilities.
Our trails are located on both public and private land. We operate trails on Grant Township property under a License Agreement, as well as over a dozen miles of trail on Keweenaw Mountain Lodge property that are protected by a Trail Easement. Permits with the Michigan DNR allow us to build and maintain trails in their extensive forests for the public to enjoy. We're required to tell you these things by complicated legal agreements that keep our trails open and free to use. Not all trailwork requires a shovel – quite a lot happens behind the scenes in the office, too!
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 Ma Maki. 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 (Little Loon, Moose on the Loose, and Chipmunk Run) 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 near the KML. Service is offered through the Keweenaw Adventure Company for a reasonable fee. Our organization does not operate any shuttles and all of our trails are accessible via trailheads or public roadways. Nearly all trails in our system can be ridden in either direction, and uphill riders always have the right-of-way.
Class I E-Bikes are permitted on many trails in our system. Find more information on our dedicated E-bike page.
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 and trail running, with the exception of a few downhill-only mountain bike trails. Everywhere else is fair game. Hikers and trail runners have the right of way on trails – that means mountain bikers must yield to those on foot. These trails were built for all non-motorized, human-powered users and there's plenty of room to share.
Some mixed-use trails see more mountain bike traffic than others. On busy weekends, popular mixed-use trails include Garden Brook, Raptor Ridge, West Woopidy Woo, and The Flow. Be aware before beginning your hike! Nearly all other trails see light bike traffic even on bustling days in the Harbor. You won't have the trail all to yourself, but you're more likely to have long stretches of solitude while hiking trails on the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge side of the system. Check out some of our favorite suggested hikes here. Berry patches are scattered across the entire area and are easily missed by passing mountain bikers. That means more of the good stuff for those on foot!
Beyond the immediate vicinity of Copper Harbor are even grander trails that would make anyone's hometown jealous. Plan your visit to some of our favorites here for your next trip north!
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. By Showing Your Harbor Love, you can help us maintain trail access so that everyone can enjoy our trails safely.
- Mountain bikers yield to hikers.
- Ride in control and within your abilities.
- Uphill traffic has the right-of-way.
- Respect wildlife and the environment.
- Control your dog.
- No horses or motorized vehicles.
- Heed trail closure notices and other signage.
- Plan ahead for anything.
- Obey the rules of the road.
- Be courteous & 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! Learn more about our Show Your Harbor Love campaign here.
WARNINGS & HAZARDS
Our trails are free and open to the public for all non-motorized, human-powered users. Horses are not permitted on our trails. 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 dry enough to use 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 in Copper Harbor or send us a note online at your earliest convenience. Thanks!
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 KML, otherwise prepare to find your own way everywhere else.
Nordic & Fat Bike Trails: A group of volunteers have been grooming nordic and fat biking trails around Copper Harbor. The trailhead for the nordic trails is located behind the Copper Harbor Visitor 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 singletrack 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 KML. Visit their website for more information on grooming conditions and maps of available routes for the 2022-2023 winter season.
OTHER TRAIL systems in the region
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.