Circling back to Copper Harbor on your leisurely cruise, you may be wondering if there's anything else to see. The answer is definitely "Yes."
Lac La Belle & Bete Grise
Lac La Belle, meaning beautiful lake, is aptly named. This lake, southeast of Copper Harbor off US-41 provides all the basics for water lovers; a state waterways commission dock and boat launch, gas and additional dockage, and some mighty good fising.
Day-trippers will surely want to explore the surrounding Lac La Belle environs, studded with outstanding examples of wildflowers as well as wildlife. The Gay-Lac La Belle Road is very scenic with many roadside parks to enjoy. The shoreline on the south side of the Keweenaw peninsula is layers of beautiful marbled sandstone.
Lac La Belle is linked directly to Lake Superior via a manmade channel maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There's a steady flow of anglers moving out into the bay and lake every fine summer morning. The Mendota Lighthouse overlooks the channel (privately owned). Bete Gris (the bay leading to the lake), pronounced "Bay Deh Gree", boasts one of the most beautiful stretches of beach you'll see anywhere, accessible by car.
This charming town is just 15 miles from Copper Harbor on M-26. It's been said that the drive between the two harbors is one of the best parts of the whole Lake Superior Circle Tour. This harbor is different from Copper Harbor as it has sandy beaches rather than rocky shores. It is the home to the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse. The lighthouse and Museum is open to the public for a nominal fee.
At Jacob's Falls, between the small, friendly communities of Eagle River and Eagle Harbor, you'll see a white clapboard cottage that houses the Jampot. Operated by the Brothers of St. John Monastery, this quaint shop features baked goods and other delicacies prepared by the monks. Ample information is available on establishment of this monastery and its mission.
Here is another beautiful lakeside town and the County Seat of Keweenaw. Eagle River runs through it and there is yet another waterfall here. The wooden bridge crossing Eagle River Falls also provides a chance to sit back and take in nature at its finest. A nearby pullout is available, and the old bridge has been turned into a walkway where you can get a full view of the falls.
During fall, winter and early spring, anyone delighted by the sight of deer should be sure to take a drive around Eagle River, where the creatures can be spotted close up in large numbers. Watching a herd at feeding time at the roadside park right off the highway or up at the county courthouse is an unforgettable experience.
And it's all just a short journey away from your home base in Copper Harbor.