Copper Harbor is upping its winter game.
You can now enjoy miles of trails past magnificent vistas and into quiet reprieves. Whether you like to snowshoe, cross country ski, skate ski or snow bike, Copper Harbor has become a place you can work it out and take it in all at once.
Cross Country Ski
The amount of cross country ski trails has tripled this year.
You bet your sweaty bippy!
Sure you can take the kids or the pups on a lovely loop through the meadows and Fort Wilkins, but now you can take your ambitious self past the beginning of Highway 41 — or to the “End of the Road Winter Trails,” as they’re called.
Why should you Nordic track all the way up that hill?
Because you can see this…
Do you know this view?
A little sun shining on the Nose of Brockway Mountain from the turnoff to Horseshoe Harbor always puts a little glory in your soul. Get it!
From there you can do the whole 16 km loop around the trail to Horseshoe Harbor and even up to the lookout on East Bluff! Just start at the turnaround at the beginning of Highway 41.
One of Copper Harbor’s newer residents, Casey Krueger, has taken it upon himself to groom to the East Bluff Lookout with four passes at each crack to make sure it’s wide enough to skate ski.
“I wanted to ski out my back door,” he told me. “Winter is my big passion, and this is one of the few remaining places where there’s real winter!”
Casey actually grooms the whole 16 km of the End of the Road Winter Trails every other day to make sure that you (and he) can enjoy the awesome views and get the best of winter exercise while the getting is good.
“It’s all just starting now, but I’d like to get a small Pisten Bully one of these years, so I can groom it that wide to the top in one pass,” Casey said.
Because who wouldn’t want to pant all the way up to this view?
Do you know this view?
It’s the sunrise from the lookout on East Bluff looking south.
“On a clear day, you can see Mount Houghton and the Huron Mountains,” Casey assured me.
So you can now skate ski from the beginning of 41 to this lookout on East Bluff.
Got your fatty wheels pumped up? (Not too much… just enough!)
You can ride the 16 km to all the vistas mentioned above!
If climbing on your fat bike is not your thing, head 1 mile west of Copper Harbor on M-26 to Trails End Campground. There’s a gentler 2 km loop out there.
But if you start on 10th Street by the highway, you can also ride 2 km to get there and then 2 km back. Or ride through the meadow and state park from the trailhead in town.
Dan Kauppi is the big push behind getting groomed trails out at this campground. He also reinstated the Brockway Mountain Challenge, which used to be a ski race, but is now a Fat Bike race over Brockway Mountain Drive! This year, it’s held on March 21st. Think your thighs can handle it? Check out their facebook page!
Multi-Use At a Glance
Okay, so here’s the fun at a glance (distances are approximated):
- 9 km of easy terrain trails go through the meadow and Fort Wilkins starting at the trailhead by the Welcome Center
- 16 km of big elevation trails head up from the Beginning of 41 turnaround and offer amazing vistas along the End of the Road Winter Trails
- 6 km of gentle trails run from 10th street and loop through Trails End Campground
- All 30 km of trails are groomed for snow biking and cross country skiing
- All 30 km of trails allow for snowshoeing and pets on the side of the tracks
- The trail from the beginning of 41 to the lookout is wide enough to skate ski
Need a map? There is a nice laminated one on the counter at the General Store and other businesses in town to look at.
Want snow reports? Like the CH SNOW page for winter recreational events, grooming reports and updates!
And for goodness sakes, get out there!
This blog is written by resident author and outdoor enthusiast Amanda Wais.